KOZHIKODE: The Kozhikode Second Additional Sessions Court on Thursday acquitted Noushad Thikkodi, former PDP leader, in a case related to setting ablaze a Tamil Nadu bus here in 2002.
Judge P Saithalavi exonerated Noushad, the first accused in the case and former district treasurer of PDP, citing that the prosecution failed to prove the allegations levelled against the accused. Besides, the evidence furnished against Noushad was also inadequate to establish that the accused had been involved in the incident. A Kozhikode-Madurai Express bus, parked at the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus station on Mavoor Road, was set ablaze at night on December 29, 2002.
According to the prosecution, Noushad, along with the other accused Samsudheen, had carried out the operation in protest against the alleged mistreatment of PDP leader Abdul Nasar Madany at the Coimbatore Central Prison by the Tamil Nadu police officials, while he was lodged there in connection with the Coimbatore serial blasts case.
The Nadakkavu police, who registered the case, had charged Noushad and Samsudheen under Section 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage) and various sections of the Prevention of Destruction to Public Property Act. Noushad, who had been absconding, later surrendered before the court and released on bail.