The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), an organisation banned by the Supreme Court for anti-national activities, is now executing its agenda through several proxy groups set up by its members.
An alert issued by the ministry of home affairs in March saw state police departments hunt for as many as 80 SIMI activists across the country. "Activists have been arrested from Kochi, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the recent past," said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
But a few have managed to slip under the radar, added the officer. Hunting down new members of this banned outfit has become tough because of the numerous front organisations they have floated, added the officer.
This is the outcome of a SIMI meeting in November 2007, where erstwhile chief Misbah-ul-Haq asked all office bearers older than 30 years of age, to leave SIMI and start organisations on their own and continue spreading the outfit's ideology. Sources in the intelligence bureau fear that there are over 50 such front organisations operating in different states.
Ashish Bhatia, inspector general of police heading the Gujarat ATS confirmed this development. "They float front organisations to escape our scanner. In fact, they have also modified SIMI to SIM to bypass the ban."