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UP BJP presses for SIMI ban 
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow

The U.P. Govt. bowing to the pressure of BJP state leadership and other anti- Muslim organizations, has sent a detailed report to the union home ministry to impose a ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). 

The organization's alleged involvement in recent bomb blasts and its unproved links with terrorist organizations like Lashkare Toiba and Hizbul Mujahedeen are quoted as sufficient grounds to impose a ban. 

Earlier many cases under different sections of IPC including 295 (waging war against the nation) and 153 (creating disharmony among different sections of the society) were registered in different districts against members of this organization. Within a short span of a month, particularly after the demand to ban this organization was made by the state BJP chief Kalraj Mishra during a press meet organized by the UP Press Club, Lucknow. It will also be interesting to note that the demand was followed by media trial initiated by English and Hindi dailies.

Safdar Nagauri, the general secretary of SIMI, not only did a great disservice to his organization but to the entire Muslim community and other broad-minded people who have supported the organization's right to exist. On 11 October Nagauri addressed a press conference in a Lucknow hotel. It was hoped that he will clarify the organization's position regarding its alleged involvement in subversive activities and its relations with organizations inimical to India. But inspite of clarifying SIMIís position he further complicated the matters by unconvincing replies.

It was evident from his utterances and replies that he has not done his home-work properly and had decided to face the hostile press without any preparation. For example, he had not read the news item regarding intelligence inspector Rajan Sharma's statement before the press in the presence of Aligarh district magistrate and SSP alongwith AMU VC Hamid Ansari. Though he showed the clipping to the press, he could not take the stand that Inspector Rajan Sharma addressed the press in the presence of DM Aligarh, although it was mentioned in the very first paragraph of the said news (Amar Ujala, Agra, 7 Sept.). Mr. Nagauri couldnít say firmly that after Vajpayee's Lahore visit Pakistan's intrusion into Kargil was wrong and it is un-Islamic to ditch a friend and to break a promise/agreement. His reply on this pinpointed question was vague in nature whereas the press insisted on a clearcut answer.: yes or no. 

On another specific question whether he considers J&K an integral part of India or not, he said that Kashmir is a complex issue, some of its part are occupied by China some by Pakistan and the matter should be solved to the satisfaction of the people of Kashmir. But he refused to say whether J&K is an integral part of India or not, saying that every question could not be replied in yes or no. He seemed to be so ill-informed that he could not reply back that it was the Govt. of India that took the matter to the UNO in 1948, and thereby conceding that Kashmir was a disputed area.

Supporting Osama Ben Laden, Mr. Nagauri said that the US was the biggest terrorist of in the world, and Ben Laden is simply opposing the presence of US armed forces is Hijaz and thatís why the West is portraying him as a hardcore terrorist.

On terrorism, he said that it is un-Islamic to kill innocent people but refused to comment on a pinpointed question regarding Pakistan's support to terrorism in India. When pressed, he shot back: is Pakistan and Kashmir separate from the rest of the world? 

On Jihad he said: any fight for land or any other worldly thing is not Jihad, but refused to comment if what is going on in Kashmir is Jihad or terrorism. Police sources revealed to this correspondent that immediately after his press conference a meeting of top police officers was called to determine the action against Mr. Nagauri.
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