SIMI ally is Congress poll partner

via Daily Pioneer published on July 13, 2006

The sudden awakening of the Union Government to the threat posed by the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is like eating crow. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government had initially allowed the ban imposed on the alleged subversive organisation to lapse. In its enthusiasm to discredit the steps taken by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to curb terrorism as being anti-minority, the Congress had also entered into an alliance with the alleged allies of SIMI for electoral gains.


According to the latest issue of Milli Gazette, an organ of fundamentalist Islamic forces, the Congress-led Government is making preposterous allegations against SIMI in the face of its widespread criticism for the failure to counter growing terror attacks.


To quote from the full page article titled, There is no case against SIMI, it said: “No specific incidents of any crimes have been cited though numerous organisations have been named in the notification (banning SIMI) claiming that SIMI is involved with them or functioning through them in a pseudonymous fashion. Most of such organisations either do not exist and if they do, they have not been banned… Some of them are respectable organisations such as Tamil Nadu Muslim Munetra Khazhagam (TMMK), which took part in the electoral process as alliance partner in the Democratic Progressive Alliance of which DMK and Congress in Tamil Nadu are partners.”


The article goes on to add that the leaders of the TMMK have access to Congress leadership including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “The president of TMMK also met the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh on 6th December 2004 as a leader of delegation from Tamil Nadu,” says the article, claiming that the ban imposed on SIMI was unjustified especially in view of the fact that there were no fresh evidences against the organisation in post-September, 28, 2005 period when the ban imposed by the NDA Government was allowed to lapse by the Manmohan Singh Government.


“In the background note to the ban (imposed by the UPA Government) not a single instance of any activity of any sort has been mentioned for the period 28.9.2005 to 7.2.2006,” states the article criticising the haphazard notification issued by the UPA Government, which was more of a knee-jerk reaction to the growing influence of the SIMI beyond the Vindhyas into States of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


SIMI was banned for the first time on September 27, 2001 immediately after the bombing of the twin-towers in New York. Though Shahid Badr Falahi, the president of SIMI was arrested and faced prosecution, the general secretary and mastermind Safdar Nagori has managed to evade arrest all these years. The ban was followed by a crackdown on the SIMI cadres with the subversive organisation’s activists being booked under various anti-terror acts.


The ban was renewed in September 2003 and on both the occasions upheld by the Tribunal. According to SIMI’s own admission, this period of ban (between 2001 to 2005) led to demoralisation of cadres. “Members were demoralised, accounts frozen, offices sealed and of course no person would be willing to take up membership of SIMI fearing harassment and prosecution by the Government,” says the article.


The question is did the UPA’s go-soft policy allow the SIMI cadres to regroup in the space of five months between September 2005 and February 2006 and perpetrate terror in the form it was witnessed in Mumbai on 11/7.


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