Kerala-based PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madani, granted bail in 2008 Bengaluru blast case to visit his ailing mother, arrived in Kochi by a private airlines after a day-long delay caused by security formalities, which triggered a protest here by his supporters.
He was accompanied by a team of Karnataka Police officials.
Earlier, he was not allowed to board a flight at the airport in Bengaluru on security grounds by IndiGo airlines.
However, later the airlines allowed him to board in their flight.
A rousing welcome was accorded to Madani by his supporters, who were waiting for his arrival since morning outside the Kochi international airport at Nedumbassery.
Talking to reporters outside the airport, Madani alleged that he suspect there was a "planned move" to delay his travel to Kochi even after securing a boarding pass at Bengaluru airport.
"I am grateful to Almighty for granting me an opportunity to celebrate Holy Ramadan with people of Kerala and my parents after six long years," he said.
Madani also thanked the people of Kerala and media for extending their support to him at a time when he was undergoing a period in which he was "denied justice."
He, however, refused to say anything on the case against him in Karnataka.
After reaching Kochi, the PDP leader headed towards his home in Anwarssery in Kollam district.
A special National Investigation Agency court based on the Supreme Court directions had recently fixed the date for his travel to Kochi from Bengaluru from July 4 to July 12.
It had directed the city police to provide necessary security arrangements.
Madani had been arrested in connection with the July 2008 serial blasts in Bengaluru that killed one person and injured several others.
Earlier in Kochi, supporters of Madani staged a violent protest outside the airport and allegedly smashed glass at the counter of Indigo for allegedly refusing to carry their leader to Kochi from Bengaluru.
Police used force to push out around slogan shouting supporters of the jailed leader from the domestic departure area of the terminal building sensing that their protest was turning a big security threat for the airport, police said.
Amid melee, they allegedly broke the glass counter of the Indigo airline located at domestic departure area of the airport, they said. According to Kerala Police, around 500 supporters of Madani had gathered outside the terminal to receive the PDP leader on his arrival by the Indigo flight at noon.
They ended their protest after they got an assurance that Madani will reach by air in the night.
Earlier, listing out the instructions to be strictly adhered to by all concerned for carriage of person under judicial custody/ administrative control as per the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) regulations, IndiGo had said in Bengaluru that as an airline, it always complies with the security agencies regulations.
As per the BCAS Regulations, it said, the policing authority responsible for carriage of a prisoner by air shall indicate classification of such prisoner as dangerous or otherwise in their application addressed to the Commissioner or Regional Dy Commissioner of Security, BCAS.
Also, it stipulates that a minimum of two escorts of the policing authority shall be required for one prisoner who is classified as dangerous by the policing authority.
It also noted that aircraft operator should not accept a prisoner and escort(s) as passengers unless concurrence has been obtained in advance from the BCAS and other operators that may be involved en route and at the intended final destination.
In such cases sufficient advance notification must be given to operator so that prior agreements can be obtained, the airline added.