Govt Bans SIMI for Another 5 Years

New Delhi: The Centre on  6 February banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for another five years beginning February 1, saying if not curbed the outfit will reorganise and “disrupt the secular fabric” of the country.

The Union Home Ministry said activities of SIMI continue to be “prejudicial to the integrity and security  zof the country” and the ban on the outfit will continue to remain for five years more.

“The Central government is of the opinion that if unlawful activities of SIMI are not curbed immediately, it will take the opportunity to continue its subversive activities and reorganise absconding members. “It will disrupt the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, propagate anti-national sentiments, escalate secessionist activities by supporting militancy and undertake activities prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country,” the Home Ministry notification said. The latest notification issued by the ministry lists 21 terror cases highlighting the alleged involvement of SIMI, including the rioting at Azad Maidan in Mumbai in 2012.

“During the Azad Maidan agitation, of the 10 accused arrested, one, Iqbal alias Pappa Gulam Rasul Shaikh, is a SIMI member,” the Home Ministry said. It also cited four cases registered in Hyderabad and two cases in Gujarat.

The notification also cites two cases in Madhya Pradesh where six former members of SIMI escaped from the Khandwa jail in October last year. Another case relates to exchange of fire between alleged SIMI members and the Maharashtra ATS in 2012.

The Home Ministry claimed that when ATS members conducted a raid to arrest alleged SIMI members, they reportedly opened fire in which a suspect died. Two people were apprehended. The Central government also provided details of recent judgements pronounced by various courts against arrested SIMI members in Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. However, in most of the cases, the accused were let off with a fine for lack of evidence.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2014 on page no. 1

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