Marad: 56 of 89 accused do not have passports

Staff Reporter

Affidavit submitted in special court

33 accused submit passports

KOZHIKODE: Over 50 per cent of the accused in the Marad case who are now out on bail have either not taken a passport or have lost their passport in the aftermath of the incident on May 2, 2003.

Nearly 56 accused out of the 89 who secured conditional bail from the High Court of Kerala submitted an affidavit at the Marad Special Court here on Monday stating that they had no passports in their possession. Some of the prime accused, including T. Mohammedali, brother of Aboobacker who was killed in the communal riots in the coastal village in January 2002, said their passports had been destroyed.

Only 33 accused submitted their passports in court. Monday was the deadline to submit the passports or file affidavits.

The accused had been asked by the High Court last week to surrender their passports within a week after Crime Branch Criminal Investigation Department Superintendent of Police T.V. Kamalakshan moved a petition in the High Court stating that the intelligence wing suspected that the accused in the case might flee the country.

Justice K. Hema of the High Court directed the accused to surrender their passports within a week to the Marad Special Court at Eranhipalam here. Those who have no passports should file an affidavit at the court stating to that effect. The Marad case relates to the killing of nine fishermen in the coastal village of Marad.

The Special Court has completed the trial and the verdict in the case is to be pronounced on November 29.

The High Court granted bail to 89 out of 137 accused with stringent conditions. Senior police officers have been asked to upgrade the surveillance of the undertrials following reports about the ineffective monitoring of the accused in the case.

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