Posts Tagged ‘ahmedabad blasts

06
Aug
08

Ban on SIMI.. Is it justified?

The Indian government is on the wrong foot once again. This time for the handling of the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). SIMI was banned for the third time in 2006 after the serial blasts in Malegaon. A couple of days back the a special tribunal of the Delhi high court lifted the ban on the radical Muslim outfit. The very next day the Supreme court of India stayed the ban. I wonder on what basis was the ban on SIMI lifted, especially in the wake of the Jaipur,Bangalore and Ahmadabad serial blasts. In fact some media reports as well as the investigators have even claimed that the Indian Mujahideen who took the responsibility for the blasts is actually SIMI in its new new avatar. It is a known fact that a good number of men arrested over terror links in the past few years were either members or people who had links with SIMI. Safdar Nagori, the current leader of SIMI was arrested in March this year from Ujjain along with ten other people for terrorist activities.

SIMI was formed in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh , in April 1977. The stated mission of SIMI at that time was the ‘liberation of India’ from western materialistic cultural influence and to convert it into an Islamic society. Since then it has been suspected of being involved in the Bombay blasts in 2003 and 2006. It has also been suspected of having links with the al-Qaeda and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). They also have publicly in the past supported Osama bin Laden calling him a true Mujahid (martyr). The organization was first banned in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks and the again in 2003 before being banned for a third time in Feb 2006. The lifting of the ban clearly shows that despite all its earlier bans, SIMI possibly has contacts in the high levels of the government. It was an outrageous act committed by the tribunal. In fact the militant group should have been totally banned rather than in periods.

There is also a flip-side of the coin. There are some who argue if SIMI can be labelled militant, what about the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu extremist organization. The group which is a member of the Sangh Parivar, is no different from SIMI; the only difference being SIMI wanting a Muslim revolution in India where as the latter wants a Hindu one. Personally, I totally agree that Bajrang Dal also should be banned, just because they are a religious extremist group in a ‘secular’ nation like India and also for its role in the Babri-Masjid demolition and the riots that followed. Even the Gujarat riots of 2002 could be cited. But the problem is that so far they have not been proved to be involved in any terrorist activities. Individual cases of members killing missionaries have been reported. But that doesn’t qualify for the whole group to be banned. One more thing to be taken into account is that the group enjoys the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which also happens to be part of the Sangh Parivar. The BJP which is a national party which has ‘Hindutva’ as its goal have very close aides in the Bajrang Dal and other similar minded groups like the RSS and the VHP. Any action against the Dal could prove disastrous for the BJP even though its not in power.

Coming back to the SIMI, Samajwadi Party Chief and ex-UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav had stated that the group is not a terrorist orgainzation and had even withdrawn cases of treason against its then leader. Even Lalu Yadav had come in support of the lift of the ban. Considering the current political scenario one can rule out the possibility of Mulayam’s role in the lifting of the ban on SIMI, especially since the central government is at the SP’s mercy. This I feel even though I am a Congress sympathizer.