January 31, 2019 5:40:46 am
Fifteen states and Union Territories, including Delhi, have sought fresh ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for continuing involvement of its members in unlawful activities, and the Centre will soon re-invoke charges on the group under the Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act, according to sources in the Union Home Ministry.
The police from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala are learnt to 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, killing of policemen, blasts, among other cases.
Sources told The Indian Express that based on the assessment by agencies and state police forces, a fresh ban will be brought for five more years after January 2019.
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.
The last time it was banned 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.
In February 2017, Nagori and 10 accomplices were sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in Indore, while an NIA court in Kochi sentenced 18 SIMI members, including Nagori, to seven-year rigorous imprisonment for their alleged role in organising an arms training camp for members of the outfit at Wagamon, Kerala, in 2007.
Abu Faisal, who was said to be mastermind of two jail breaks in Madhya Pradesh, was sentenced to three-year imprisonment in connection with the Khandwa jail break case in 2015.
Faisal and his gang members first escaped from Khandwa jail in 2013 and were arrested a few months later. In 2016, eight SIMI cadres escaped from Bhopal jail and were gunned down in an encounter with MP Police on the outskirts of the state capital. Faisal’s former associates, who were part of the 2013 escape, were gunned down in an encounter in Telangana in 2015.
Home Ministry officials said SIMI cadres have been under probe in 21 cases, including rioting at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan in 2012. The state police have provided a list of five cases registered in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and two cases in Gujarat.
The NIA, which carried out probe in the Bijnor blast and SIMI training camps earlier, has also given a report on the group, MHA officials confirmed.
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