Mani alias Yusuf, a key witness in the case relating to the terror network in the State, was picked up the police from the compound of the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court at Mattannur here on Wednesday, after he appeared before the judge, nine months after he was reported missing.

Mani reached the court in the morning, accompanied by local People’s Democratic Party (PDP) workers and advocates, and appeared before the judge in the morning. A painting worker, he told the judge he had been staying at Kottiyath in Kottayam district for painting work after he attended a press conference with PDP chairman Abdul Nasir Maudany in Thiruvananthapuram in March last. He also told the judge that he had not been detained by any one. After the judge allowed him to go, the police nabbed him on the court premises for questioning.

Mani, originally hailing from Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu and settled at Ayippuzha near Mattannur after marrying a local girl, Hazeena, had been missing since March last. She had filed a complaint with the Mattannur police that Mani had been missing after he left her house at Ayippuzha for painting work on March 25.

Mani, who had been imprisoned in the Coimbatore Jail in a robbery case, had met Mr. Maudany in the prison where the latter had been lodged in connection with the Coimbatore blast case. He had later converted to Islam. He had disappeared after he was paraded by the PDP chairman before the media in the capital amidst allegation that the latter had connections with terror operatives Sainuddin alias Abdul Sattar alias Sattar Bhai who was an accused in the Banglore blast case. .

Mani emerged as a key witness in the terror investigation case after he had told the police during the interrogation that the daughter of Sainuddin was staying with Soofia Maudany, wife of the PDP chairman in Kochi. At that time, Mani had been allelgedly working in a purdah shop run by Ms. Soofia Maudany.

Mr. Maudany, however, had denied, at the press conference in which Mani was paraded, the allegations and said that the reports appearing in the media about Mani’s alleged disclosures to the police were fabricated.