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ISI, Iran funded NDF: Rawat

Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE: Neera Rawat, Senior Superintendent of Police, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, has said that the Kozhikode Special Branch during her tenure as Kozhikode City Police Commissioner from March 22, 1997 to May 16 1999, had gathered information and prepared a report about the National Development Front's (NDF) links with the Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

Ms. Rawat was deposing before the Marad Judicial Inquiry Commission, Thomas P. Joseph, through the video conferencing facility at the Reliance Web World here on Friday. While the Commission conducted its sitting at the Reliance Web World at East Nadakkavu, Ms. Rawat deposed as a witness at the Reliance Web World at Bareilly. Her deposition lasted less than an hour.

During her examination Ms. Rawat said that she had also constituted a special squad to assist the Special Branch to collect information about the activities of the NDF. The police had then prepared reports that the ISI and Iran were the fund sponsors of the NDF. The Special Branch had collected reports using its sources and methods. Its reports were confidential and authentic, she said.

She also told the Commission that the police in connection with an investigation into a case registered against NDF activists had come to know that the NDF had drawn up plans to send a person for ISI training. However, he was unable to attend the training due to some reasons. The police had also arrested another person, `Ooma Babu,' an accused in the Coimbatore serial blast case from Kozhikode, during her tenure.

Ms. Rawat also stated that the Special Branch had also given reports regarding the transportation of arms in ambulance vans. The Medical College police had also arrested some persons for conducting arms training.

After getting the reports the police had prepared a history sheet of NDF activists and kept a close surveillance on their activities.

The police conducted routine investigations into the activities of various organisations. Information on organisations was being collected when they were active and their activities become suspicious in nature. Not all reports would be discussed with the District Collector.

Only matters such as the case dealing with Coimbatore blast case that needed joint operations would be discussed, she said.

Counsel for the Commission, P.V. Hari, Hindu Aikya Vedi counsel, E.K. Santosh Kumar, NDF counsel, Mohammed Sheriff, and Indian Union Muslim League counsel P. Mohammed Hanif examined Ms. Rawat.

Later addressing newspersons, the Kozhikode District Session Judge, said that the videoconferencing helped the Commission to ``save a lot of time, energy and money.''

The State Government also benefited out of the system. The whole exercise was conducted in an hour.

``Let us see,'' he said in reply to a query whether the Commission planned to do more videoconferencing.

Around Rs.2,000 would be charged for services at one centre.

The proceedings were also recorded at the Reliance office in Mumbai. The compact disc containing the proceedings will be submitted to the Commission in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Commission also issued orders to examine the former Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, on June 10 and the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau, C.M. Pradeep Kumar, and the Assistant Commissioner of Police, (State Special Branch), V. Mohanan, on May 25.

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