Sunday, 14 September, 2008

SIMI: from a student organisation to potent terror group

New Delhi (PTI): Started three decades back as a student movement for studying Islam, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has now aquired the status of being one of the most potent terror organisation in the country giving sleepless nights to security agencies.

Though banned in 2001 by NDA government under POTA, the recent serial bomb blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and now Delhi show that the group is still pursuing its nefarious designs.

SIMI was founded in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, way back in 1977 by Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi to propogate Islamic fundamentals among the student community.

But now its founder, who is now a professor of Journalism and Public Relations in the US, claims to have broken all ties with the organisation as its agenda had been hijacked by the radical elements.

Security experts say that SIMI had a strict age limit of 30 years and anyone above the prescribed age had to leave the group, just like Siddiqi did when he reached the age.

But experts point out that the rule does not exist any longer and even middle-aged people are activly involved in the matters of the organisation.

The ban imposed by Vajpayee Government came following requests from the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, which said the organisation has been inciting communal violence in the states.

Police investigations also revealed that group members were allegedly involved in the communal riots in Pune and Kanpur and for the bomb blast on the Sabarmati Express on the Independence Day in 2000.

The name of this group figured in the conspiracy to bomb the Nagpur offices of RSS and VHP in May, 2001. Nine activists of the banned group were nabbed by Maharashtra police in this connection.

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