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Finally, IM is a terror outfit

Nearly five years after the Indian Mujahideen (IM) carried out the 2005 Varanasi blasts, the Union Home Ministry on Friday formally declared the group a terrorist outfit.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2011 00:52 IST
HT Correspondent

Nearly five years after the Indian Mujahideen (IM) carried out the 2005 Varanasi blasts, the Union Home Ministry on Friday formally declared the group a terrorist outfit.

IM members are suspected to be involved in over 10 serial blasts in Delhi and elsewhere that killed over 400 people, including the pre-Diwali blasts in the national capital in 2005 that killed 66 people.

A shadow outfit of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, the Indian Mujahideen is believed to have been created to give an Indian face to terrorist activities remote-controlled by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence.

"An order has been issued adding Indian Mujahideen and all its formations and front organisations to the list of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967," home ministry said in a statement.

The notification would enable security agencies to arrest people suspected to be members of the proscribed organisation and seal their offices. The Home Ministry had been unsure of imposing a ban on IM for years since it did not seem to have a formal structure or even an office.

Since bans on terror outfits also cover their frontal organisations, it was felt that the existing list of terror groups would cover the IM also.

The home ministry, however, was veering round to the view that it was best if the terror list was as comprehensive as possible. It was in line with this approach that Home Minister P. Chidambaram had ordered a ban on the Communist Party of India (Maoist)-- the merged entity formed by merger of two Naxal groups including the People's War Group.

With this, the number of terror outfits banned by Delhi has gone up to 35.

Friday’s decision will be placed before a Tribunal headed by a judge of Delhi High Court within a month for adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring the association unlawful.