THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/BENGALURU:After the Supreme Court granted bail to PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madani, who is lodged in a Bengaluru jail, to attend his son’s wedding in Kerala on condition that he foot the bill for his security expenses, the Bengaluru city police slapped a bill amounting to Rs 14.79 lakh as escort expenses. It includes the salary and travel expenses of a 19-member police team headed by an assistant commissioner. Following this, the Kerala government has intervened to facilitate Madani’s visit to Kerala.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday sent a letter to the Karnataka government expressing willingness to provide police escort to Madani during the visit. Madani’s bail applications to meet his parents and attend his son’s wedding were granted by the NIA Court in Bengaluru and the Supreme Court.
An accused in the Bengaluru serial bomb blast case, Madani was granted bail from August 1 to 14 by both the courts.Vijayan, in a statement issued after meeting a PDP delegation, said he doubted the police direction was aimed at preventing Madhani’s visit.“Madhani had visited Kerala thrice between 2013 and 2016. For the first two visits, police did not charge money and for the third Rs 50,000 was levied. This time the amount asked is huge and is equal to denying justice to him,” Vijayan said.
“When the state takes up escort duty, the Karnataka police will not have to bear additional expenses. Hence the amount should be reduced,” he said.A senior police officer said City Armed Reserve police escort convicts in such cases and the city police submits a bill to the court according to scales of pay.
PDP vice-chairman Poonthura Siraj has warned the Karnataka government of serious repercussions if Madani’s visit did not materialise. “The Siddaramaiah government is playing with fire. He wants to mobilise extremist Hindu votes by harassing Madani,” he told reporters here on Wednesday.