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Home > News > PTI

Tribunal upholds ban on SIMI

March 25, 2004 19:55 IST

Two-and-a-half years after the Centre declared the Students Islamic Movement of India as unlawful, a tribunal has upheld the ban.

Justice R C Chopra of the Delhi high court, who heads the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, on March 23 said, "There is sufficient cause for declaring SIMI unlawful. As such, the government's notification in this regard issued on September 26, 2003 stands confirmed."

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The Centre had banned SIMI on September 27, 2001 saying its activities were 'detrimental to peace, communal harmony, internal security and maintenance of secular fabric of the country', a Union Home Ministry spokesman said in Delhi on Thursday.

The Centre imposed the ban in the wake of SIMI's 'pro-Taliban' stance after the 9/11 attacks in the United States. SIMI activists reportedly distributed leaflets and posters lauding Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as the 'ultimate jihadi' and warned that any US attack on Afghanistan would amount to an attack on Islam. It also reportedly called upon all Muslims to be ready for jihad (holy war).

The notification banning the organisation said, "SIMI is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism/militancy in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

"SIMI supports claims for the secession of a part of the Indian territory from the Union, supports groups fighting for this purpose, and is thus questioning the territorial integrity of India."

Noting that SIMI was 'working' for an international Islamic order, it said, "During conferences, the anti-national and militant postures of SIMI were clearly manifest in the speeches of the leaders who glorified pan-Islamic fundamentalism and used derogatory language for deities of other religions and exhorted Muslims to jihad."

SIMI published objectionable posters and literature, which were calculated to 'incite communal feelings and which question the territorial integrity of India'.

The ban was also imposed for its 'links with militant outfits like the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen'.

The tribunal was constituted on October 23, 2003 to decide whether there was sufficient cause for declaring SIMI as an unlawful organisation.

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