Kollam, Kerala: Abdul Nasar Madani, accused in the 2008 Bangalore blasts case was produced before a magistrate in Bangalore late on Tuesday night. He was sent to police custody till August 26. Madani was arrested in Kollam on Tuesday after a week of drama and suspense.
His supporters were clearly outnumbered by the more than 800 Kerala policemen who had been deployed to facilitate the arrest.
When Madani knew his arrest was imminent he hurriedly called a press conference where he announced his decision to finally surrender before the law.
"I will surrender before a magistrate court but if the police arrest me before that, I am ready for it," he said.
And the actual arrest happened as Madani was heading for the Magistrate's court. Emotional scenes followed with Madani's supporters weeping as their leader was taken away.
With Madani finally in Karnataka police custody, there was a sense of relief.
"I would like to convey my appreciation to Karnataka Police for pursuing this case seriously. I would also like to thank the Kerala government for their cooperation in the matter. Karnataka government will continue our effort to contain such anti social elements," Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said.
Karnataka Police say they have a good case against him; Madani himself maintains his innocence and he has not given up the legal battle.
The hearing is going on in High Court and Madani wants the chargesheet against him quashed. The next hearing on that issue is on Wednesday.
"Our contention is consistently that there is no evidence against Abdul Nasar Madani, even assuming that all the evidence that has been gathered in this prosecution does not constitute an offence as alleged against Mr. Madani in this chargesheet. And also we have challenged the chargesheet on the ground that there is no proper sanction as envisaged under the Unlawful Activities Act of 1967," said said P Usman, the advocate For Madani.
Madani has been implicated in this case only on the basis of the statement of the co-accused - the first accused T Nasir. With the arrest drama over, the legal battle begins.