Puttur notary, advocate and Dakshina Kannada district Congress minority unit chief secretary Nooruddin Salmar has been remanded in judicial custody for allegedly assisting in the conversion of a Hindu girl from Ankatadka, Paltady and helping his friends take her to Kerala.
Nooruddin was caught when he was trying to help Mohammed Althaf, the second accused in the case, to reportedly escape in his car. The Kasargod police arrested them near Perla. The prime accused in the case is Aziz, a poultry trader from Ankatadka.
The girl, a resident of Paltady, had left from her home on February 19 and escaped to Bellary. Aziz is said to have given the girl Rs 10,000 and asked her to convert to Islam. She was then taken to Kasargod by accused Rahiman, Mansoor and auto driver Manoj, and from there to Ponnani by train.
The girl then called Puttur rural police and informed them that she was in Ponnani. The girl's father filed a complaint in Puttur rural police station on February 21. It is said that Aziz and the girl had an affair, and after the family's intervention, it was decided that Aziz and the girl would not meet or talk to each other anymore.
Meanwhile, based on the information obtained on tracking the phone number the girl had called from, the Puttur rural police led by SI Jagadish Reddy under the direction of DySP Sadananda Warnekar left for Ponnani and brought the girl back. On the basis of her statement, the police filed complaints against Aziz, Rahiman, Mohammed Althaf, Mansoor and Manoj.
Though Nooruddin was only accused of helping the accused escape, investigations later revealed that he was the mastermind behind the plan to convert the girl, said DySP Sadananda.
Accused Aziz, Althaf and Nooruddin were taken for medical examination and produced in Puttur court. Puttur lawyers' association filed a bail plea for Nooruddin's release. B Narasimha Prasad and Mahesh Kaje argued on his behalf and said that Nooruddin should be granted interim bail as he was an advocate of the Puttur court.
Assistant public prosecutor C Thammana expressed a strong objection to the bail plea. He said interim bail can be granted to old people, patients and women but in this case interim bail cannot be granted to the accused.
Justice Venkatesh Nayak who upheld the decision of the public prosecutor, denied the bail and remanded the accused in judicial custody for 14 days. Along with Nooruddin, the court also awarded judicial custody to Azeez and Mohammed Althaf.
A few people objected to the photographers who were clicking pictures of the accused. Meanwhile police officials intervened and dispersed the crowd. Strong security was deployed in the court premises under the guidance of M Sudarshan, Puttur town police inspector and K Suresh Kumar, rural police circle inspector.