Tribunal examined 11 sealed covers, 50 govt witnesses to ban SIMI

August 29, 2019 10:30 pm | Updated August 30, 2019 12:27 am IST - New Delhi

Justice Mukta Gupta. Photo:

Justice Mukta Gupta. Photo:

The Union Home Ministry told a Tribunal that the Students Islamic of India (SIMI) was filing applications under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to help its members who are facing trial in various courts.

Based on the submissions made by the MHA and other State police departments, a Tribunal constituted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has upheld the ban against SIMI for another five years. The outfit was first banned in 2001, this is the eighth time it has been banned.

To impose the fresh ban, the Tribunal examined at least 34 cases registered against the members and former members of SIMI by police across the country after January 2014. In a 75-page order, the Tribunal headed by Justice Mukta Gupta said some of the members and activists of SIMI are working under the “umbrella of frontal organization and having links with number of other terrorist organizations Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Islamic State, Indian Mujahideen etc.” The Trinbunal said that it is “evident that they are continuing to receive funds within India as also through foreign funding.”

The Tribunal said it examined two public witnesses and 50 witnesses from the government to reach the conclusion. It said that it received “11 sealed covers in the form of intelligence reports, secret informations collected from time to time by the investigating and intelligence agencies” against SIMI.

“One of the (sealed) reports also note about a one-month campaign organized by activists of SIMI under the name and banner of an umbrella organization and that the activists of SIMI and some of their members and sympathizers are filing RTI applications in the various proceedings to help the accused or members in the trials for committing various offences. The sealed cover placed on record by S.C.L. Das, Joint Secretary, MHA,” the Tribunal ruled.

The Tamil Nadu police deposed that “SIMI activists/cadres are regrouping themselves under the banner of Wahadat-e-Islaami Hind (WeIH) to expand their militant outreach among Muslim youth under the guise of spreading Islamic ideology. SIMI activists under the guise of WeIH continue to hold meetings, classes, symposium, seminars etc. to spread their anti-national ideology.”

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Delhi Police told the Tribunal that terror outfit Indian Mujahideen’s chief Riyaz Bhatkal “was making his efforts and using the cadres of SIMI for furthering the unlawful activities of IM.”

The two agencies told the Tribunal that a SIMI operative — Abdus Subhan Qureshi, who was arrested on January 20, 2018 in Delhi had met Bhatkal at Riyadh in Saudi Arabia in 2016 to discuss the “revival plan of SIMI/IM.”

“They decided to take revenge for the death of eight SIMI cadres in encounter after the Bhopal Jail break on November 1, 2016,” the Tribunal was told.

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