Friday, April 23, 2021

Central govt declares SIMI ‘unlawful’, bans it for 5 years over national security threat

New Delhi, February 2: The Central Government has declared the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as an “unlawful association”, extending its ban for another five years, according to a statement released by the Home Ministry.
The movement was last banned on February 1, 2014, by the UPA government for a period of five years. The ban was confirmed by a tribunal on July 30, 2014.
According to the Home Ministry, SIMI has the potential to create communal disharmony and its activities are prejudicial to the security of the country.
According to a Home Ministry notification, if the unlawful activities of SIMI are not curbed and controlled immediately, it will continue its subversive activities, re-organise its activists, who are still absconding, and disrupt the secular fabric of the country by propagating anti-national sentiments and escalating secessionism.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-sections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the central government hereby declares the SIMI as an “unlawful association” and directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years,” the notification said.
The Home Ministry listed 58 cases where members belonging to the SIMI were allegedly involved.
The ministry said the organisation has been polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, undertaking activities which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country.
The central government is also of the opinion that having regard to the activities of the SIMI, it is necessary to declare the SIMI to be an unlawful association with immediate effect, it said. The order comes into effect from Thursday.
Among the terror acts in which SIMI members were allegedly involved are blasts in Gaya in 2017, Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore in 2014, and jail break in Bhopal in 2014.
The police from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala have provided details of conviction against top SIMI leaders Safdar Nagori, Abu Faisal, among others. Faisal was instrumental in the 2013 Khandwa jail break incident, according to investigators.
Members of the group have allegedly been involved in bank robberies, killings of policemen, blasts, among other cases, officials said.
The SIMI was established on April 25, 1977, in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh, and the organisation allegedly works on the agenda of liberating India by converting it into an Islamic state. It was first declared an outlawed outfit in 2001. Since then, it has been banned on several occasions. (PTI)