The move will help in expediting trial and minimise travel of suspects

At least half-a-dozen cases of communal murders, in which some former members of the banned Al-Umma have been named as accused, are likely to be transferred to the Poonamallee special court, police sources said on Monday.

Based on a proposal sent by the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Crime Branch CID (CBCID), the State government is expected to pass orders transferring the cases.

The SID was formed to investigate the murders of a few Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindu Munnani cadres in recent months.

Once the special court is formed, the suspects in these cases, including Fakruddin alias ‘Police’ Fakruddin, Bilal Malik, Panna Ismail, would be moved from different prisons to a jail located within the 25-km radius of the special court, the sources said.

“The special court would help in expediting trial in these cases and also minimise the travel of the suspects to courts in different districts. We have had instances of terror suspects attacking escort police personnel and escaping from custody,” a police official referring to the sensational escape of Imam Ali and Hyder Ali from the Tirumangalam police station (Madurai district) in 2002 said.

Besides the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, a few cases booked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) were tried in the Poonamallee special court located on the outskirts of Chennai.

Sub-jail shut down

In a separate development, a sub-jail that was remodelled into a high security prison in 1991 to accommodate the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi case and later named as a special camp to house refugees was shut down on Sunday.

After the conclusion of trial in the Rajiv Gandhi case, the sub-jail was converted into a special refugee camp where some Sri Lankan Tamils with criminal cases against them were lodged.

One of the inmates, Gangadharan, filed a public interest litigation petition in the Madras High Court in 2010 seeking the closure of the camp, according to M. Radhakrishnan, petitioner’s counsel.

Even as the petition was pending, the cases against the few inmates of the special camp ended in acquittal and they were shifted to a refugee camp in Tiruchi.

Subsequently, the special refugee camp in Poonamallee was closed.

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