Police rubbish allegation, say due procedure was followed

Family members of the suspects in the April 17 Malleswaram blasts in Bangalore have lodged a complaint with senior police officers in Coimbatore and Bangalore alleging attempts by a team of policemen to plant explosive substances in their houses under the pretext of a search and seizure procedure.

However, Bangalore City Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar rubbished it saying due procedure was followed.

Abdul Kalam Bagadur Sha, counsel for the terror suspects, told The Hindu in Bangalore over the phone from Coimbatore on Tuesday that a team of Bangalore police, led by Joint Commissioner S. Murugan and Deputy Commissioner D. Devaraj, took the suspects to Coimbatore and, with the assistance of local police, searched the house of prime suspect Kitchen Buhari’s father-in-law in Bilal Estate II Street in the early hours of Tuesday.

Plastic cover

Buhari’s in-laws, Abdul Nassar and Basiriya, alleged that the police ohad tried to stash a plastic cover inside the house. The family, who objected to this, were soon joined by local residents who vociferously protested against the police action, prompting the latter to beat a hasty retreat with Buhari. Mr. Sha said Ms. Basiriya’s complaint in this regard had been wired to the Bangalore police.

A little later, the same police team turned up at the house belonging to the in-laws of another suspect, Tenkasi Suleiman, situated in the Punga Nagar police station limits in Coimbatore and allegedly tried to do a repeat. Here too, the family and neighbours intervened stridently, but the police took Suleiman’s father-in-law, Asghar Ali, to the police station, only to return a little later and resume the search. Mr. Sha alleged the police team then placed a box and a few plastic pipes in the house and took photographs of the same along with Suleiman.

“The police later tried to force Suleiman’s wife, Asma, to sign on some paper but she refused,” said Mr. Sha. Ms. Asma later filed a complaint with senior officers of the Coimbatore police and a wired a copy to the Bangalore police.

‘Manhandled’

Suleiman’s family members alleged that the police also manhandled Mr. Ali when he opposed the search. They said the police had flashed an open search warrant got from a Bangalore Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, which empowers them to conduct raids and searches.

When the family members and neighbours argued that the warrant was not valid — as it was obtained from a Bangalore court instead of the jurisdictional court — the police insisted they had powers to conduct search and raids anywhere in the country under the Criminal Procedure Code and goaded the residents to challenge it in court, Mr. Sha said.

Meanwhile, Bangalore Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar refuted the allegation. “We have taken utmost care in this case and followed every procedure to carry out the investigations,” he said. The police had made some seizures, which would be disclosed in the due course, he added. He said he had no knowledge of any complaint in this regard sent through telegram.

More In: Karnataka | National