While Uttar Pradesh police chief said raids were being conducted at hideouts of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) on suspicion of its links with the Mumbai blasts. On the other hand state's ruling Samajwadi Party on Thursday virtually gave the outlawed group a clean chit, saying it was not a "terrorist organisation".
"SIMI is not a terrorist organisation. Some of its members may be involved in terrorist activities and action should be taken against them," Samajwadi Party state general secretary and state PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav told reporters in Lucknow.
Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav also appeared to take a soft stand on the outfit, saying it had not been found to be involved in the Varanasi blasts and the terrorist attack in Ayodhya.
"SIMI was not found to be involved in the two main terrorist incidents in the state," Mulayam told reporters in an informal chat in Lucknow.
"There is, however, a central ban on SIMI and it is being enforced in the state," he hastened to add.
State police chief Bua Singh had on Wednesday said that SIMI was under the scanner. Besides the raids at its hideouts, notices had been issued to its absconding activists, he said.
The West Bengal government too has ordered a crack down on SIMI, which was outlawed in 2001.