Saturday, September 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

SIMI President arrested
Headquarters sealed, hundreds held in raids
Syed Ali Ahmed and agencies

New Delhi, September 28
The Delhi Police today sealed the headquarters of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) at Zakir Nagar and arrested four senior members of the organisation, including its national president, soon after the ban imposed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday night.

The Municipal Council of Delhi’s (MCD) councillor of the Okhla area Asif Mohammad Khan was also arrested under Section 5 of the West Bangal Defacement of Public Act, Public Property Act and 153 IPC giving provocative statements with intent to cause riot). He reportedly gathered people and tried to resist the sealing of SIMI’s headquarters and arrest of its members, Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern Range), Amod Kanth said.

The ban order was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs last evening and president of the SIMI, Shahid Badr, manager of its monthly magazine “Movement”, Sayeef Nachan, deputy manager, Mohammad Khalid and an office-bearer, Irfan were arrested early this morning from its headquarters. Certain documents allegedly relating to anti-national activities were also recovered from its office.

Shahid Badr was charged with sedition and inciting communal disharmony in UP. The UP police wanted Badr for making highly provocative speeches at a conference in Behraich in UP. While addressing his followers in the conference, Badr eulogised Osama bin Laden and called him a “champion” of the Islam.

A city court remanded them to judicial custody till October 12, in the afternoon a UNI report said.

A majority of the activists of the SIMI who were active in different colleges of Delhi University, JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia have gone underground. Its members who lived in several Muslim localities have left the Capital.

The police force has been deployed in large numbers inside the office premises of the SIMI and in the Zakir Nagar locality to prevent any untoward incident as a precautionary measure.

Criticising government’s policies, Muslim leaders expressed unhappiness over the ban imposed on SIMI. Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, Syed Ahmed Bukhari said terming SIMI as a militant organisation reflected the communal attitude of the BJP-led government. SIMI had nothing to do with militancy. Why the organisation suspected in killing Christian preachers in the North East area of the country and the Bajrang Dal, a sister organisation of the RSS whose activists delivered provocative speeches to incite communal disharmony were not being declared militant organisations? Why were these organisations not banned?, the Imam questioned.

Condemning the ban imposed on SIMI, Chairman of the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), Dr Manzoor Alam, said the government maintained double standards and violated the constitutional rights. The BJP and its other organisations were involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhaya and terrorising the minorities. But no action had been taken against them.

Though the government had no evidence to prove that SIMI was involved in anti-national activities, the ban had been imposed on it. If any individual was found involved in any anti-national activity, SIMI could not be held responsible for it.

Meanwhile, senior Home Ministry officials said there was no question of banning organisations like the Bajrang Dal as no specific request backed by documentary evidence had been received against it. The ban was imposed after careful scrutiny of the evidence available and close monitoring of the activities of the particular organisation.


Court rejects bail plea of activists

New Delhi, September 28
A city court today rejected the bail plea of four arrested activists of the banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), including its national President Shahid Badr, on the ground that they had published an article in their magazine, “hurting” the sentiments of Buddhists.

Rejecting the bail plea of Badr, Saif Nachan, Mohammed Khalid and Irfan Khan, who were arrested for raising provocative slogans in protest against the ban on the organisation, Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Kumar remanded them to 14 days’ judicial custody.

Referring to the order banning SIMI, he said: “I have carefully gone through the notification which has banned the SIMI with immediate effect. I am of the opinion that at this stage this is sufficient to reject the bail application”. PTI


Probe ordered into firing

Lucknow, September 28
The Uttar Pradesh Government today ordered a probe by the Commissioner, Lucknow division, into yesterday’s violence and police firing on rampaging SIMI activists, which left three persons dead and several injured in the city.

The Commissioner has been asked to look into the causes which led to the police firing and identify those responsible for instigating violence, state Chief Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters here. Though no time-frame has been fixed for the inquiry, the government would prefer an early report, he said.

The Chief Minister alleged Samajwadi Party workers were behind yesterday’s violence and said the government would not hesitate to take action against those found guilty. UNI

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