Karnataka police team executes warrant amid high drama near Kollam

A Karnataka police team backed by a posse of the Kerala police entered the Anwarssery camp of People's Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasir Maudany in southern Kerala on Tuesday and arrested him even as he sought to proceed to the magistrate's court in Karunagapally town nearby and surrender there.

Ending over 10 days of uncertainty, the police team led by Bangalore Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar arrested the preacher-turned-politician hours before the deadline set by the Karnataka High Court to produce the accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts case who was an accused in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts case but was acquitted.

Mr. Maudany met the media in the forenoon and said he would surrender before court after the afternoon prayers with the orphans living at the camp, a madrasa-cum-orphanage. After prayers as he came forward to enter his van, a team led by Kollam Superintendent of Police Harshita Attaluri, under the supervision of Inspector General of Police A. Hemachandran, entered and took control of the complex.

As Mr. Maudany entered the vehicle, the Kerala police took control of it and facilitated the execution of the arrest warrant against him by Mr. Alok Kumar and Bangalore Assistant Commissioner H.M. Omkarayya.

A group of activists raised slogans against the police and lunged forward dramatically, but they were dispersed without any significant use of force. A police driver took the wheel and under police escort the vehicle moved out.

The shorter National Highway 47 route to Thiruvananthapuram was avoided following intelligence reports about potential trouble on the way. Mr. Maudany was shifted to Mr. Alok Kumar's car after the van reportedly had a brake failure.

The motorcade travelled the roundabout distance of about 125 km and reached the airport at 4.10 p.m., and he was shifted to the passenger lounge of the domestic terminal. Mr. Maudany, accompanied by two advocates, was taken by a commercial flight to Bangalore by the Karnataka police team at 8 p.m.

Stray incidents of stone-pelting and forcible closure of shops were reported from Karunagapally following the arrest. A group of activists tried to bock the motorcade near the airport, but the bid was foiled.

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