A high-security prison at Viyyur in Trichur district of Kerala is in the middle of a controversy. This central prison lodges hardcore criminals, habitual offenders, and jihadi terrorists, both convicted and awaiting trial.
It is reported that on August 15th of this year, during the Independence day celebrations, 10 terror convicts boycotted the proceedings at Viyyur Jail and shouted anti-national slogans during the flag hoisting ceremony. It is alleged that jail authorities initially tried to hush up the incident but intelligence agents brought it to light by informing the Central Ministry of Home Affairs.
Convicts charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPA) seemed to have created the ruckus thereby disrupting the celebrations. This also removed any doubt and validated why the accused were charged under the UAPA in the first place. That the NIA is investigating these cases is natural since UAPA has been charged.
Both Alan Shuhaib and Thaha Fazal accused in the Kozhikode Pantheerankavu UAPA case are lodged in Viyyur jail. NIA had earlier charged the two since they found evidence of their anti-national activities connected with Maoist outfits in Kerala. Another accomplice of theirs who had escaped that day in November of 2019 is yet to be found.
Also in November of 2019, an NIA court had awarded jail terms varying from 3 years to 14 years to Manseed Mehmood, Swalih, Rashid, Ramshad, Safvan and Moinuddin in the Kanakamala ISIS case. In 2016, NIA had busted the ISIS module when the accused were meeting to plan terror attacks against judges, police officers, politicians and foreign tourists. All convicts are currently lodged in Viyyur jail.
14 Jihadis including Lashkar-e-Toiba operative T Nazeer, PDP leader Abdul Naseer Madani`s wife Sufiya Madhani, Majeed, Abdul Haleem, Ismail, Shafiq, Sabir, Navas, Thaijudin, Nazar, Anoob, Farooque, Majeed and others (one was killed in Kashmir) are the accused in the Kalamassery bus burning case. The terrorists had waged a war against the Government of Bharat by striking terror against the common citizens by burning a bus at Kalamassery near Ernakulam in 2005. They admitted that it was revenge for the continued detention of Abdul Nazer Madani who was accused in the Coimbatore bomb blast case. Except for Sufiya, the rest are lodged in Viyyur (the ones still alive).
In a classic case of Islamist appeasement, the Indian National Congress and the CPM unanimously passed a resolution in the state assembly demanding the release of Abdul Naseer Madani on humanitarian grounds in 2006. Madani by then had multiple terrorist cases including bombing innocent civilians, all over the south of Bharat.
Earlier this year, as soon as news broke out about the Swapna Suresh gold smuggling racket using UAE’s diplomatic channel, the Superintendent of Viyyur jail was transferred. Swapna and her accomplices are currently lodged in the Ernakulam jail. There are also allegations of a high ranking police officer having visited Swapna late at night.
After questioning and investigation, the accused in the gold smuggling case are to be remanded in Viyyur jail. It is alleged that the jail superintendent was transferred and replaced with a more favorable officer for the convenience of the accused. This case is also being investigated by the NIA.
Suspecting foul play, The Central Ministry of Home Affairs had sought a report from the state government as soon as news of the sloganeering was reported. The late-night visit of the police officer and transfer of the Viyyur jail superintendent should also be probed.
As soon as news of the central government involvement appeared, the local CPM government led by Pinarayi Vijayan initiated a farce of disciplinary action against 11 prisoners by curtailing their benefits.
A police force weakened by political pressures can lead to multiple issues especially during times of pandemic. Believers of Hindu dharma in Kerala burdened by the atrocities heaped upon them are now praying for action from the BJP-led government to intervene immediately and restore some sense of normalcy in Kerala before it is too late. Left unchecked, the politicians and jihadis who are hell-bent on providing a safe haven for foreign-backed enemies to operate from Kerala might gain the upper hand and Kerala might end up going the Kashmir way.
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