Maudany gets an emotional welcome in Kochi

Kochi: It was an emotional welcome for jailed People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Nasir Maudany when he arrived here on Monday night from Bengaluru. Maudany, a prime accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial bomb blast conspiracy, recently got permission from the Supreme Court to travel to Kerala to see his ailing mother and stay in the state until July 12. Arrested by the Karnataka Police in 2010, he has since then, till he secured conditional bail to travel outside Bengaluru, only been in his hometown near Kollam only twice - once last year in May and before that in 2013 to attend his daughter's marriage. For the past two years, he has not allowed traveling outside of Bengaluru city limits. Trouble was brewing outside Kochi airport since Monday morning when news reached that his travel to Kochi was disallowed by the airline on which he was booked to travel and reach here around noon time. A good number of his supporters had turned up to greet 'Ustad' (as he is known by his supporters), but things went haywire when they came to know of the developments. Agitated by the reports that Indigo Airlines had cited some procedural irregularities and Maudany was unable to travel, his supporters clashed with police while the Indigo Airlines office at the airport here suffered damages when its glass panes were broken. Police have registered a case against 100 PDP supporters for the damage. Later things cooled down following the intervention of Maudany's counsel in Bengaluru and his supporters were pacified by being told that he has got permission to travel on the late evening flight. "I have directions from the court that I cannot speak anything about the case. It's the first time in six years that I have been able to spend Id-ul-Fitr with my people. Am thankful to all who are with me including the media who have been supporting me all through. Today, in the morning also there was some foul play to delay my travel," Maudany told reporters here. More than 1,000 of his supporters received him at the airport here when he was wheeled to his special vehicle waiting outside the airport. Two Karnataka Police personnel have come with him while the Kerala Police have arranged elaborate security cover for Maudany at his hometown.