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‘We are being made scapegoats’: SIMI
By Syed Ubaidur Rahman

Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) organized a demonstration at Parliament Street on 17 August against the arrest of its central secretary Waqarul Hasan from the SIMI head office situated in Zakir Nagar area in South Delhi. More than two hundred activists of the organization demonstrated peacefully and demanded the immediate release of its secretary. The demonstrators raised slogans against the RSS and other Sangh outfits like the VHP and Bajrang Dal.

Waqarul Hasan was arrested from the SIMI office in the morning of 10 August in a combined operation by the Delhi and Maharashtra Police. He was later taken to Jalgaon in Maharashtra where he was produced before a court. Waqarul Hasan was alleged to be behind a bomb blast against RSS office.

SIMI sources told the MG that the allegation is absurd and does not hold any ground. These sources also said that Waqar was neither involved in any bomb blast nor any other activist has ever been involved in such activities.

When the MG approached SIMI president Dr Shahid Badar he said that government agencies are harassing SIMI activists in different parts of the country and it is their game plan to implicate the SIMI in baseless plots and stop its constructive activities.

When asked about the recent arrests of SIMI activists in different parts of the country, particularly in Kanpur and parts of Maharashtra, Dr Badar said that no activist of the outfit was arrested either from Kanpur or any other part of the country. He said that though the police came to the SIMI office in Mumbai but nothing was done and no activist was arrested. He added that though no person belonging to the SIMI was arrested during those raids, there were several Muslim youth who were arrested by the police. The SIMI has all sympathies for them as they are also the members of the community, he said.
When asked about charges that SIMI members were found in possession of RDX and other deadly arms, the SIMI president said that it is an organized plot to destroy the credibility of the SIMI in the eyes of the community.

Dr Shahid Badar said that the SIMI does not believe in terrorist activities and denounces all such tactics. He said that we are struggling for the moral values in the society and want to inculcate these basic moral values in the youth of the 21st century. A former national secretary of the SIMI, Muneer told MG that SIMI has declared in its policy that it denounces terrorist activities and does not believe in taking up arms or resorting to bomb blasts or other such tactics.

The SIMI president said that when the Sangh organizations are openly imparting arms training to a large number of cadres in different parts of the country, the SIMI is being targetted on mere allegations. He added that the organizations which are imparting arms training in different camps in Lucknow and elsewhere under the nose of the administration have never been brought to book. He said that all this was despite the fact that these very people have masterminded the demolition of the Babri Masjid and caused the killings of thousands of innocent Muslims in umpteen riots in the aftermath of the Babri demolition.

When asked about the vitriolic writings in SIMI magazines and inflammatory speeches delivered by the SIMI activists, Dr Badar said that we may be wrong if we sounded too harsh, but we have never been involved in any anti-national activities. He further said that people who are not only making inflammatory speeches and making derogatory remarks against different minority communities but are also involved in anti-minorities activities have never been asked as to why they are doing those things. We are being made scapegoats, he added.

When asked as to why the elders in the community are not backing the SIMI this time, Dr Badar said that everyone is showing sympathy with the SIMI and has assured every assistance for the outfit. He said that it is not necessary that everyone renews his assurance every time. The community elders are with us, he added.
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