A special Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act tribunal will conduct a hearing on the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in the Bombay High court on May 28 and 29.
“On these dates, the police will produce the evidence gathered against the organisation and will seek a ban on it for two years,” said advocate Mobin Akhtar, who is representing SIMI. He said the tribunal goes to every state once in two years and the police present their case against SIMI. “This is a routine exercise,” he added.
SIMI, an Islamic student organisation formed in April 1977, was banned by the Indian government in 2002, for its alleged involvement in terror acts. On August 5, 2008, the special tribunal lifted the ban on SIMI. The Supreme Court brought back the ban the next day.
Under UAPA, an organisation can only be banned for a maximum of two years, after which the government needs to go to the tribunal to get the ban extended. Mumbai Police, in a press note, have asked anyone with any evidence against SIMI to submit it to the tribunal by way of an affidavit.
“The police do not have any fresh evidence against SIMI, and one person's wrongdoing cannot be attributed to the entire organisation,” Akhtar said. He said the police are only submitting what they already have earlier.
SIMI has been accused of carrying out bomb blasts across India, including the 2006 train bombing and the blasts in Malegaon. Police had arrested SIMI members and charged them with carrying out these attacks.
Activists of the organisation have also been accused of being part of several earlier bombings in Mumbai, in 2003, in which more than 50 were killed. SIMI leader Saqib Nachan was alleged to have been behind those blasts.
A government crackdown on SIMI followed the ban, and its senior leaders were arrested. Currently, of SIMI’s important leaders, Safdar Nagori is under arrest, Subhan Qureshi is absconding.