Public prosecutor Alikoya Kadalundi argued that the accused should not be released on bail.

The Kozhikode Principal District and Sessions Court here on Monday heard the arguments on the bail pleas of Salim Raj, former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, and six others who had been arrested on kidnapping charge in the city a fortnight ago.

Public prosecutor Alikoya Kadalundi argued that the accused should not be released on bail, considering the gravity of the case.

All of them had arrived in Kozhikode as a hired team to kidnap the complainant, Prasannan, and his friend Rasheeda Beevi, who were travelling in a car. One of the accused, Salim Raj, was a senior civil police officer, and though he was under suspension, had flashed his identity card, thereby abusing his official position. The gang had chased the couple in a car, blocked them, and pulled them of out of the vehicle, the prosecutor said.

Judge V. Bhaskaran will pronounce the verdict on the bail pleas on Wednesday. Salim Raj, 42, Riju, 28, Irshad Basheer, 24, Siddique, 37, Sattar, 37, Shamnad, 29, and Junaid, 32, are remanded in judicial custody at the special sub-jail in the city. Previously, the Kozhikode Judicial First Class Magistrate Court had rejected their bail applications.

The case pertained to the gang assaulting and attempting to kidnap Prasannan on the Karikkamkulam-Balussery road at 12.30 p.m. on September 10. Prasannan and Rasheeda Beevi were chased by the gang in a multi-utility vehicle near the Karikkamkulam junction. The intervention of the local people foiled the alleged attempt to abduct the complainant and the woman.

The Chevayur police had charged the accused with Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 143 (unlawful assembly), 144 (unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapons), and 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

However, M. Shahir Singh, counsel for the accused, argued that the police had blown the issue out of proportion to protect the vested interest of some politicians.

The case was taken up intentionally to please Opposition parties.