Home Ministry seeks states' opinion over extension of ban on radical students group SIMI

The Home Ministry said the ban imposed on the Students Islamic Movement of India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act comes to an end on January 31, 2019. but it could be imposed anew.
Home Ministry Office (File | PTI)
Home Ministry Office (File | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Centre has written to state governments seeking an update on the activities of radical students group SIMI so that a final call could be taken on the continuation of the ban imposed on it beyond January next year.

In a communication to all states, the Union Home Ministry said the ban imposed on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act comes to an end on January 31, 2019, but if the central government finds the group continues to indulge in unlawful activities, then the prohibition may be imposed afresh.

"In case the state government finds that the aforesaid organisation is still indulging in unlawful activity and other activities prejudicial to the integrity and internal security of the nation or with a potential to threaten the secular fabric of the country, the relevant material covering cases under the Act registered before February 1, 2014, and their latest status indicating persons convicted, released, appeal preferred, if any, may be provided to this ministry," the letter sent by Joint Secretary in the home ministry S C L Das said.

Cases registered on or after February 1, 2014, and their status which can stand judicial scrutiny, any other relevant information concerning SIMI along with the state government's assessment and recommendation for a fresh ban may be furnished and a nodal officer may also be nominated for regular interaction and follow up, it said.

The home ministry said it is essential to watch the activities of SIMI and if its membership continues then 'ipso facto' a case of unlawful activity under the law is made out.

"If this organisation and its members commit offences in furtherance of their aims and objectives, then the charge sheet would have to contain the reference to such violation of Act.

This is important since the evidence of such activities in the form of FIRs and charge sheets are required to be produced before the Tribunal," the communication said.

Described as a terrorist organisation, the SIMI was first declared an outlawed outfit in 2001.

Since then, it has been declared a banned group under the relevant law.

The last time it was declared a banned outfit was under the UPA on February 1, 2014, for a period of five years.

The ban was confirmed by a tribunal on July 30, 2014.

The SIMI was established on April 25, 1977, in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh, and the organisation allegedly works to the agenda of liberating India by converting it into an Islamic country.

The SIMI allegedly planted multiple bombs inside sub-urban trains in Mumbai in 2006 in which 187 people were killed and over 700 others were injured.

The group was also blamed for a blast in Gujarat in 2008 in which at least 45 people were killed.

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