Banned radical Muslim outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) suffered a setback after the Supreme Court refused to hear a petition challenging the Government'sdecision to ban it in 2001.
Moving a petition before a Bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat, SIMI had sought revoking of ban imposed on it by the Centre under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The Bench, however, declined to entertain the same cautioning the petitioner to either withdraw the petition or get it dismissed. The counsel appearing on behalf of SIMI subsequently chose to withdraw the petition.
The Government went ahead with the ban following requests made by the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. SIMI'sinvolvement in instigating communal violence in these states had been aptly proved owing to which the state governments demanded its proscription.
The Government had justified the ban stating SIMI was responsible for inciting communal violence in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh by its inflammatory speeches and posters. In 2001 alone, the SIMI was responsible for the communal riots in Pune and Kanpur in March and for the bomb blast in the Sabarmati Express on Independence Day.
The Government even objected to the organisation'sbelief in renouncing the parliamentary system in the country. The organisation held that such a democratic set up is unsuitable for bringing about an Islamic Revolution. At its conferences conducted all over India, SIMI showered praises on Osama bin Laden as the ideal ?mujahid?, even going to the extent of supporting Taliban policies, including the destruction of the Buddha statues in Bamiyan (Afghanistan).
Having its roots in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh) where it started off in 1977, SIMI gradually expanded its base across the country and the arrests of several SIMI activists concluded their links with national and international militant outfits providing with moral and monetary support. Though SIMI claims that it is not receiving ?contribution from abroad either from individuals or from institutions? but is only collecting ?funds through personal contributions of its members and collection of Zakah from its well wishers within the country?, it is reported to be getting funds from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and the International Islamic Federation of Students Organisation in Kuwait.
The WAMY has organised anti-India meetings on Kashmir and funded the construction of new mosques and madrasas in Jammu and Kashmir.
Besides, the SIMI maintains extensive linkages with other fundamentalist and militant Islamic organisations in South Asia. Its links with militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen came to light when the Maharashtra Police arrested nine members who attempted to bomb the RSS and the VHP offices in Nagpur in May 2001. Eight of the nine arrested were part of SIMI members trained by Hizbul in handling arms and explosives.