KOCHI: In a shocking security lapse, an operative of the so-called Islamic State (IS) - who allegedly planned suicide attacks and whose links with masterminds of the Easter carnage in Sri Lanka are under probe by Central agencies - was taken to court in a transport bus. The incident took place on Monday when Riyas Aboobacker of Palakkad was escorted to the NIA Court in Kaloor from Ernakulam Sub-Jail in a private bus with minimum security arrangements.
The issue has been taken up by the Special Branch and the NIA, with the Special Branch which carried out a probe into the incident scheduled to submit a report to the City Police Commissioner, DGP and Prisons Department. “Usually, the jail authorities give an intimation about the accused and the court to which he has to be escorted. If it is a grave case like terrorism, it has to be specifically informed.
However, on Monday, the intimation we received from Ernakulam Sub-Jail was an accused has to be escorted to Additional District Sessions Court as is the case in normal cases. There was no information given about the nature of the case, the name of the accused or the court to which he has to be taken,” a Special Branch officer said.
Aboobacker, accompanied by two unarmed policemen, walked from Ernakulam Sub Jail to the bus station near the High Court half a kilometre away. From there they boarded a private transport bus filled with passengers to Kaloor and again walked up to the NIA Court. When contacted NIA officers said they did not want to comment on the issue since the Kerala police are looking into it. Usually accused in NIA cases are taken to court under tight security.