Ban on SIMI extended by two years

via http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-5540563,prtpage-1.cms published on February 5, 2010

NEW DELHI: The Centre has extended the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for another two years, beginning Monday.

The outfit – allegedly found to be involved in all the major terrorist attacks on mainland (outside Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states) in terms of providing logistics and foot soldiers to major Pakistan-based terror groups in the past – has been facing a ban since September 2001.

Sources in the home ministry said the ban on SIMI — whose offshoot Indian Mujahideen (IM) had carried out a number of serial attacks in Jaipur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Surat, Ahmedabad and Delhi during 2007-08 — will now continue till February 7, 2012.

“The decision to extend the ban on SIMI for another two years has been taken in view of the fact that the group continues to indulge in unlawful activities through its various fronts. Evidence is being collected to track the activities of those fronts across the country,” said a senior home ministry official.

Though the outfit – whose ban was scheduled to end on Sunday – will have right to oppose it ban before court, sources in the ministry said that the exercise would be futile as the government has enough evidence against it for its role in a number of terrorists attacks in the country right from Mumbai train blasts to Malegaon in Maharashtra and Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

They said the ban was extended after intelligence reports as well as ongoing investigation into a number of terror attack cases showed that its cadres had joined Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) for providing logistical support in setting up “sleeper cells” in the hinterland. Some of its members had also received training by LeT in the Gulf countries, they added.

After further extending the ban, the government will now be required to set-up a minimum one-judge tribunal within a month for looking at the matter from the legal point of view. The tribunal will have six months time to confirm or reject the ban.

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