KERALA

Marad case: former DGP deposes against police officer

KOZHIKODE, NOV. 29. In his deposition before the Marad Judicial Inquiry Commission here today, the former Director General of Police (DGP) K.J. Joseph said that the then Kozhikode South Zone Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Abdul Rahim, had failed to investigate and take prompt action in the seaside village of Marad.

He said the police officer had not only hidden the truth from superior officers but also attempted to establish that the key-accused in the massacre on the beach on May 2, 2003 were not involved in the crime. Even after the case was handed over to the Crime Branch - Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID), Mr. Rahim was informally monitoring the activities of the investigation team so as to know who would be framed as accused in the case.

"I can only infer based on his conduct. No documental evidence is there to prove that he failed to act after getting the information. Adverse remarks about him were received after I arrived in Kozhikode the next day after the incident," Mr. Joseph said elaborating on the query of the Inquiry Commission, Thomas P. Joseph, on why Mr. Rahim had been transferred soon after the incident.

He also referred to the subsequent conduct of Mr. Rahim on how he attempted to remain in Kozhikode even after he had been instructed to report to the Thiruvananthapuram Police Headquarters. "The inference is that he is not that innocent," the former DGP said.

Police lapse

In spite of the security measures taken at Marad after the first incident of communal clashes in January 2002, Mr. Joseph said it was regrettable that the police had failed to detect the large cache of weapons in the coastal village. "Only after the second incident, the police became suspicious that weapons had been amassed and hidden inside the mosque, its minars and on the premises of the mosque," he said.

He said he had no such reasoning that the May 2 incident had been premeditated to avenge the killing of Aboobaker in the communal riots in January 2002. At a conference of retired police officers in Kottayam, I had stated that what happened at Marad was not a clash between two communities but a one-sided attack. Such an incident taking place in a communally-sensitive area was deplorable, he added.

The former DGP while refusing to admit that the police had failed to detect and prevent the incident said the police had generalised information that something could go wrong considering the situation at Marad. "After getting generalised information, the Intelligence wing would have collected the specified information. The intelligence wing should be asked about the specified information," he said.

He said that he was not sure whether all the accused in the case had been arrested, as he had retired on May 31, 2003. Mr. Joseph said until his retirement, he had no knowledge that any extremist organisation or that an accused in the Coimbatore serial blast case was involved in the massacre, Mr. Joseph said.

He said that the Intelligence wing (Special Branch - Crime Investigation Department) headed by an Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) or an Inspector General of Police (IGP) had a selection method to recruit junior-level officers.

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