The obscure terror outfit has finally got a face. The Kerala government claimed on Saturday that several bogus organisations which are active in Kasargod, Malappuram and parts of Kozhikode are nothing but an extension of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
Speaking to the Express via phone from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan confirmed that approximately four bogus organisations controlled by former SIMI cadre are under the scanner of state security agencies. He added that these organisations are involved in research, people’s movement and seminars on local issues. The trick is to ensure that the hidden agenda related to extremist activity remains within the domain of speculation.
“The Popular Front of India is one of the bogus organisations placed under surveillance by the agencies. Activities of another organisation - the National Democratic Front - are also being analysed. There are some other organisations which we suspect are working as fronts for SIMI,” he said.
According to the Home Minister, security agencies cannot take immediate action as foolproof evidence against these organisations needs to be collected.
“They camouflaged the real agenda, but security and intelligence agencies are aware of their existence, and we are monitoring their activities. The issue is, unless an organisation is found to be involved in anti-national and terror activity, no action can be taken under the legal provision. The outfits are clever enough to use different issues linked to social service to avoid being tracked down,” the Home Minister said.Sources in the National Investigation Agency said that an intelligence report on these bogus organisations has been sent to the Central Government for further action.
“Some old faces of SIMI under surveillance recently joined ‘social organisations’ in the state. We have collected the details of these organisations, which were forwarded to Centre,” said a source.
Speaking to the Express, Kerala Home Secretary Sajan Peter confirmed that there was an intelligence report on bogus organisations. However, he refused to divulge further details citing the confidentiality of the report.
Sources in the NIA stated that these organisations receive huge sums as donations from Gulf countries through the Hawala channel.
“Funds flowing in a religious and research centre suspected to be a front for SIMI were detected. Surprisingly, till a few years ago, these organisations had remained a puzzle for the police and intelligence outfits.”
SIMI was declared a terror outfit under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for the first time on September 27, 2001, immediately after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center by Al-Qaeda. In February 2012, the Centre had extended the ban on SIMI for another two years.