A tribunal headed by a Delhi High Court judge conducted a two-day hearing here to ascertain whether there was sufficient cause to extend the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as an unlawful association. The tribunal, presided by Justice Mukta Gupta of the Delhi High Court, began its hearing on Friday in Pune and it concluded on Saturday.
Founded in 1977, SIMI was banned in 2001. The tribunal, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was constituted by a notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on February 21 this year after the five-year ban on SIMI ended on January 31.
Officials from the Maharashtra Police’s Crime Investigation Department, the state Anti-Terrorism Squad and State Intelligence Department deposed before the Unlawful Activities Tribunal, to justify the ban on SIMI.
Among officials who deposed before the tribunal were Ravindrasinh Pardeshi, Superintendent of Police (ATS), Ganesh Shinde, Special Branch (CID), Mumbai Police and Nisar Tamboli, Deputy Commissioner, State Intelligence Department.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, who is part of the tribunal, said the three nodal officers from the state CID, ATS and Intelligence deposed before the tribunal stating the ban on SIMI is essential in view of national security and to ensure there are no anti-national activities.
“All three officers deposed and briefed about the pending trials, discoveries and seizures made and information gathered regarding SIMI activities and how the ban is essential in view of national security,” she said.
DCP Tamboli, while deposing before the tribunal Saturday, informed there are about eight cases involving SIMI.
He also told the tribunal that if the ban on the organisation is lifted, it will regroup and carry out anti-national activities.
ATS SP Pardeshi, who deposed on Friday, justified the ban on SIMI and submitted information about the Mumbai local train bombings of 2006 and also briefed about a SIMI operative who was convicted by the court.
He also submitted that the lone convict in Pune’s German Bakery blast case, Mirza Himayat Baig, had links with SIMI.
DCP Shinde from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) cited a 2001 case from Mumbai where a SIMI operative was arrested and some incriminating material were recovered.
Anand said the tribunal will head to Hyderabad for the next hearing and, thereafter, will return to Maharashtra, where a hearing is likely to take place at Aurangabad.
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