The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court has adjourned to Thursday the bail applications of Salim Raj, former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, and six others who were arrested here on charges of kidnapping.

Magistrate P.T. Prakashan, who heard the arguments on their bail pleas on Wednesday, wanted to verify the additional statements of complainant Prasannan, hailing from Oachira, recorded by the Chevayur police. The court directed the police to submit the statements on Thursday.

The Chevayur police had on Tuesday arrested Salim Raj, 42, and his gang under Sections 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine persons),143 (unlawful assembly), 144 (unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapons), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

This was after local people blocked the gang for manhandling Prasannan at Karikkamkulam here. Prasannan and Rasheeda Beevi, who were travelling in another car, were earlier chased by the gang in a multi-utility vehicle. The accused were remanded in the special sub-jail here.

M. Shahir Singh, who appeared for the accused, argued that no kidnapping had taken place on Tuesday and that none of them had any criminal background. Except for one person against whom a cheating case had been registered, no cases had been registered against any of them.

No weapons had been recovered from them and that it was inappropriate to call the accused a hired gang. The seven members had reached Kozhikode for searching a person in connection with a case registered at the Oachira police station, Mr. Singh argued.

The others accused in the case were Riju, 28; Irshad Basheer, 24; Siddique, 37; Sattar, 37; Shamnad, 29; and Junaid, 32.

Abdul Wahab, husband of Rasheeda, had filed a compliant with the Oachira police on August 2 that 75 sovereigns of gold and Rs.10 lakh in cash were missing from his house. Incidentally, Rasheeda and Prasannan had been staying at Karaparamba here for a month.

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