The Indian government, on Monday, extended the prohibition on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for an additional five years. This move comes in response to the group's involvement in fostering terrorism and disrupting peace and communal harmony within the country.
In a statement posted on 'X', Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated the government's commitment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of zero tolerance against terrorism. Under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), SIMI has been declared an 'Unlawful Association' for the next five years.
A total of 10 state governments, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh, recommended the classification of SIMI as an "unlawful association" under UAPA provisions.
Originally outlawed in 2001 during the Atal Bihar Vajpayee government, the ban on SIMI has been consistently renewed. Home Minister Shah emphasized that SIMI has been actively involved in promoting terrorism, disturbing peace, and posing a threat to the sovereignty, security, and integrity of Bharat (India).
According to the Union Home Ministry, SIMI continues to engage in subversive activities, reorganizing its activists, many of whom are still evading authorities. The group is accused of undermining the secular fabric of the country by fostering communal disharmony, spreading anti-national sentiments, and supporting militancy, thereby threatening the integrity and security of the nation.
The notification from the Home Ministry highlighted about 17 terror cases involving SIMI activists in recent years, resulting in the sentencing of at least 27 members by various courts. Notably, an NIA case against former SIMI cadre A R Qureshi revealed a conspiracy to join ISIS for the cause of Islamic Jihad and carry out targeted killings in India.
Other cases mentioned include those against Umair Siddiqui, who provided shelter to SIMI.
(With Agency Inputs)