Govt bans SIMI for 5 more years, declares it an ‘unlawful association’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/govt-bans-simi-for-five-more-years-says-it-has-potential-to-disturb-peace-communal-harmony-5565773/

Govt bans SIMI for 5 more years, declares it an ‘unlawful association’

The new notification, issued on January 31, 2019, will be effective for a period of five years till January 2024.

Govt bans SIMI for five more years, says it has potential to disturb peace, communal harmony
Home Minister Rajnath Singh. (Express Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

The Centre Friday banned the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for a period of five more years starting February 1 under the Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act. It said the organisation was indulging in activities “prejudicial to the security of the country” and disturbing peace and communal harmony.

According to a notification issued by the Home Ministry, the Centre is of the opinion that if the unlawful activities of SIMI are not controlled, the organisation will continue its subversive activities and re-organise its activists who are still absconding, disrupt the secular fabric of the country, propagate anti-national sentiments, escalate secessionism by supporting militancy and undertake activities which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country.

In its notification, the Home Ministry listed 58 cases against members of SIMI. Some of the cases include the blasts in Gaya in 2017, M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore in 2014, and jailbreak in Bhopal in 2014.

The Indian Express had first reported the Home Ministry’s proposal to ban the organisation after 15 states and Union Territories sought the same. The police from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala submitted to the government details of convictions against top SIMI leaders including Safdar Nagori and Abu Faisal.

SIMI was established on April 25, 1977, in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. 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.

SIMI was last banned on February 1, 2014, by the UPA government for a period of five years. The new notification, issued on January 31, 2019, will be effective for a period of five years till January 2024.