Is it not enough punishment for Maadani?text_fields
People's Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Abdul Naser Maadani is a public figure who has been constantly subjected to numerous injustices that are alien and humiliating to a democratic society. Boldly propounding the ever-relevant slogan of 'liberation for the oppressed, power for the downtrodden', he had many followers and even more detractors right from the start. He lost his leg in a bombing by Sangh Parivar activists and was imprisoned from 1998 to 2007 in the name of a trial over the accusation that he was involved in the Coimbatore blast case. At the end of a nine-and-a-half-year-long trial, the court was convinced that this man, who was depicted as a terrorist and was subjected to a media trial by the Sangh Parivar and the media, was not guilty. By the time it was revealed that he was innocent and released, Maadani was suffering from various health problems. After his release from prison, he started wider political engagements, but was arrested again in 2010 for alleged involvement in the 2008 Bengaluru bomb blast.
Many a drama has been enacted before and after this arrest which can be said to have been systematically framed by creating false evidence and false witnesses. Even the journalist who investigated and reported on how fake witnesses were recruited was implicated in the case. The main witness himself revealed before the court that he gave a false statement against Maadani because the police threatened to implicate him in the case. The civil rights community came out strongly demanding that Maadani be granted bail and that the case proceedings should be completed immediately. However, it later transpired that the Karnataka government was slowing down the case proceedings apparently in a stubborn act. It was only because of the Supreme Court intervention that he was granted conditional bail in 2014. And it was also at the behest of the court that he was allowed to come to Kerala and see his mother when her cancer was at an advanced stage. At the time of his getting bail, the Karnataka government assured the Supreme Court that the trial would be completed within four months. Now it is nine years since then, and that promise remains unfulfilled. If the trial proceedings are carried out properly, he would get an opportunity to explain his innocence before the judiciary. However, in the case of Maadani, the trial itself is being dragged on like a kind of punishment.
Continued incarceration exacerbated his pre-existing health problems. Maadani has been sharing his uncompromising stand through social media, stating that no threat can silence him in such a situation. His physical health is deteriorating day by day, even as he continues to hold on to his steadfast faith. The political leaders who visited him recently in Bengaluru sadly described that they did not see the charismatic leader who had excited thousands with his unwavering voice in the lecture gatherings, but a very subdued and suffering person. The weak voice of Maadani in his voice message detailing his health conditions that reached the public recently via social media a few days ago indicates the same. After surviving a stroke a year ago, doctors have informed that the blood vessels in his brain are blocked and that he needs urgent treatment and surgery. Kidney health is also in a poor condition. Numbness of the hand and facial paralysis have become more frequent. Maadani's life can be saved only by ensuring the best available treatment and care. He is not allowed to go out of Bengaluru as per his bail conditions. This greatly limits treatment options. Reports are coming out that he will approach the Supreme Court seeking relief from the bail conditions in case of a health emergency. A man who is a mere trial prisoner has to go to court to seek life-sustaining treatment even though he cannot even get out of bed without assistance. This is happening at the same time when people who were convicted for the most serious criminal offence are being released and celebrated as heroes because they are the favourites of the communal regime. Not only Maadani, but every one who believes in justice, legal system, and constitutional values are being insulted here. Beyond expression of moral outrage, he needs the support of the state government and all well-meaning people in his ongoing legal battle and attempts to regain his health.