Abdul Nasar Maudany was born in 1965 at Sasthamkotta in Kollam district in Kerala. A gifted speaker and a great religious scholar, Maudany started off as an Imam in a local mosque in a Muslim Mohalla in Sasthamkotta at a very young age. Due to his extraordinary oratorical skills he soon built up a strong following. Maudany formed the Islamic Sewak Sangh in 1991, which was in response to the Bhagalpur riots, and riots that happened in Kerala in the wake of L K Advani’s Rathayathra and the Shilanyas that happened in Babri Masjid. As the ISS grew in popularity in Kerala, the RSS carried out a bomb blast against him during a public speech after which Maudany lost one of his legs. After the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, the government banned the ISS along with other Muslim organizations like Jamaat-e-Islami. Whereas Jamaat-e-Islami went to court and got the ban repealed, Maudany dissolved ISS and formed a new platform, The People’s Democratic Party (PDP). This was the first party in the history of modern Kerala that was specifically aimed at forging a broad Muslim-Dalit-backward caste alliance. With this party, he single-handedly challenged both the Left and the Congress fronts in Kerala and also posed a serious threat to the Muslim League and its satellite Muslim organizations.
However, merely six years later, Maudany was arrested in connection with the Coimbatore bombings that occurred on Saturday, February 14, 1998. He was charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 153-A (spreading communal hatred), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition). He was also charged under the Arms Act.
He was arrested following the interrogation of Ooma Babu alias Majid, a prime accused in the Coimbatore serial bomb blasts. He was first sent to Kannur jail and then handed over to the Tamilnadu police. After this he spent 3390 days in Coimbatore jail as an under trail before being let off without any charges in 2007.
After coming back from jail, he publicly announced an alliance with the CPI (M) and also campaigned for them in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress and Muslim League countered this by portraying Maudany as a “fundamentalist” and a “terrorist” and blaming the CPI(M) for associating with him. This was in contrast to the early stand of the Congress when they had tried to form an alliance with Maudany. The CPI(M) lost the elections and their association with the “fundamentalist” Maudany was blamed as the major reason for this. The mainstream media, especially reputed dailies like Mathrubhumi and Malayalam Manorama played an important role in constructing and circulating this image of Maudany as a dangerous terrorist, often based on his religious and Islamic perspectives.
The police, the State and the media continued their pursuit of Maudany and in December 2009, Maudany’s wife Soofiya was arrested for her alleged role in the 2005 Kalamasserry bus burning case, in which PDP activists had allegedly burned down a bus in protest against Maudany’s continuing incarceration in Coimbatore jail. Soofiya was later let off on bail, but the State pursuit of Maudany continued.
On 17th August, 2010, Maudany was arrested again for his alleged role in the Bangalore Blasts of 2008.
Note prepared by Jenny Rowena