SIMI actively present in Kerala: NIA

published on May 3, 2012

The NIA on Thursday informed the tribunal handling matters related to the ban on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) that the outfit was still actively present in Kerala.

In a report submitted to the tribunal which started its three-day sitting in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, the agency said that SIMI had involvement in at least three cases it was probing in the State.

The NIA told the tribunal that it had evidences for SIMI’s involvement in the cases relating to recruitment of young Keralites to LeT for training and operation in Kashmir in 2008, the extremist camp at Panayaikkulam near Kochi in 2006, the terror training programme in Vagamon, Idukki in 2007 and the seizure of pamphlets from Kozhikode.

However, Mohin Aktar who appeared before the tribunal as counsel for former SIMI workers denied the NIA’s allegations. “These are all false charges with no connection to the SIMI. These are only submissions in the tribunal which will not stand before the court of law,” the lawyer said.

The Kerala Government had earlier submitted its report regarding SIMI’s presence demanding continuance of the 11-year-old ban on the outfit in the context of its continued presence in the State. A report prepared by the Internal Security Wing had said that though the police had not come across incidents of secret meetings, raids had yielded pamphlets and other materials.

It also said that investigations carried out after the incident of the chopping off of the right hand of a college professor in July, 2010 had found the presence of SIMI in a minimum of eight incidents that took place after 2008. It is said that most activists of the SDPI, the organization responsible for the hand-chopping incident, were former SIMI operatives.

The report said that SIMI could be active in the State in the form of other organizations and that its presence was possible in certain mainstream political parties. According to the police, the recent incident of leakage of a police letter to the Press regarding a move to snoop on certain email accounts points to the presence of extremists in the State.

The Kerala Government and the NIA would present their further arguments before the tribunal on Friday. A decision on whether the 11-year-long ban on SIMI should be continued would be taken after the three-day sitting in Thiruvananthapuram and similar exercises in three other states.

SIMI, which originally emerged as the students’ wing of the Jama’at-e-Islami Hind (JIH) in an effort to augment the Students’ Islamic Organization (SIO) but later became a Frankenstein for the (JIH) following disputes over international developments, had been very active in Kerala prior to its ban in 2001.

Meanwhile, a Thiruvananthapuram court allowed the police to keep lawyer Shanavas, third accused in the sensational case pertaining to the leakage of an email-snooping move of the State police, in their custody for seven days. Shanavas was arrested on Sunday.

According to the Crime Branch of the police, Shanavas had connections with former leaders of certain extremist outfits. He would be taken to Kozhikode, where, according to the police, the conspiracy for the leakage was hatched. The first accused in the case is Biju Salim, sub-inspector at the Hi-Tech Inquiries Wing of the Kerala Police from where the letter was leaked.

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