Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said here on Thursday that the arrest of PDP leader Abdul Nasir Maudany, without any major law and order problems, showed the crisis management capabilities of Kerala government.

In an article released for publication, the Home Minister said that the Kerala handled the matter carefully. The outcome disappointed only those who had predicted violence and police firing. The Karnataka police and Karnataka Chief Minister had thanked the Kerala police while Mr. Maudany commended the manner in which Kerala police handled the developments. Thus, both sides had not raised any complaints against Kerala police.

The Kerala government was not able to comment on the case against Maudany, as it was registered and investigated in another State. Kerala was officially informed of the case only on August 10. As the Karnataka police had come to Kollam with the accompaniment of television channels, people had gathered at Anwarsseri declaring that Maudany would not be allowed to be arrested. So, the Kerala police needed to take certain precautions, Mr. Balakrishnan said.

When the Home Minister of Karnataka contacted him on August 12, he had mentioned the three-day visit of the President to the State and the Independence Day celebrations. The Karnataka Minister’s request was that necessary assistance should be provided for arrest of Maudany after August 15. So, he had convened a conference of higher police officials and issued necessary directions.

It had been for the Karnataka police to decide whether Mr. Maudany should be allowed to surrender or be arrested. They were of the opinion that he could be given a day (August 16) for surrender. They wanted the matter to be resolved before noon on August 17. Though Mr. Maudany was expected to surrender by 11.30 am on August 17, he did not come out until 1 pm. So, the Karnataka police arrested him at 1.15 pm. He was arrested at the most appropriate time after people who had gathered at Anwarsseri had been dispersed.

Mr. Balakrishnan said that many people had wished that the police should enter place where an orphanage, madrassa and mosque were functioning. However, the LDF government was not prepared to handle the issue in the manner the previous government had handled the issues at Sivagiri, Thrikkunnam and Muthanga. The police under the UDF government had beaten up sanyasins at Sivagiri and priests and believers at Thrikkunnam seminary and had shot down a tribal at Muthanga. On the other hand, the LDF showed restraint in handling the agitations for land at Chengara and Wayanad. This did not point to the weakness of the police but to its strength and self-control.