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SIMI in revival mode, State slumbers

AS THE State Government soft-pedals the issue, the SIMI leadership has come out of hibernation to form the national executive in riot-scarred Aligarh. The new body will oversee the revival of the SIMI in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Its office-bearers have been touring the outfit?s pre-ban bastions over the past couple of months.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2006 10:54 IST

AS THE State Government soft-pedals the issue, the SIMI leadership has come out of hibernation to form the national executive in riot-scarred Aligarh.

The new body will oversee the revival of the SIMI in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Its office-bearers have been touring the outfit’s pre-ban bastions over the past couple of months.

The national executive body was formed on April 10, at a time when Aligarh was in the grip of communal violence. Sources said the meeting was attended by 27 of 39 Ansars (top cadre). They reposed faith in the leadership of Dr Shahid Badr Falahi once again.

Dr Falahi was the SIMI president when the then NDA Government banned it under sections of the POTA in 2001. While Mohd Fahim has replaced the firebrand Safdar Nagouri as the general secretary, Imran Ansari retains his post of finance secretary. The executive members are all new faces: Noman Siddiqui, Mohammed Sajid, Abdul Aziz and Ashraf Baqi.

To decide on the new national executive, the Ansars had assembled in one of the university hostels a day before the riots broke out on April 7. After this, they met in Zakir Nagar, New Delhi, where Mohd Aamir was asked to surrender in a Kanpur court with the help of some local contacts.

He was specifically asked to surrender on April 25, the day the SIMI was founded in Aligarh in 1977. In the last two months, the new office-bearers have tried to galvanise the SIMI’s Ikhwan and Awan cadres and addressed a number of meetings to rope in the old cadres who are below 30 years of age.

So far, they have visited Azamgarh, Kanpur, Aligarh, Ambedkar Nagar, Jaunpur, Allahabad, Bijnore and Moradabad in UP and Hazaribagh, Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga in Bihar. In Kanpur, Mohd Fahim took the responsibility of getting the cadres back. Safdar Nagouri visited the Jamiat-ul-Fala madarsa in Azamgarh.

“The aggressive approach is aimed at re-establishing the SIMI by reviving nearly half-a-dozen offshoots,” said a source.

“They need their own people who once handled various operations,” he added. This point, coupled with discoveries about the outfit in Maharashtra, form the basis of the new notification issued by the Centre to six states on Friday.

First Published: Jun 04, 2006 10:54 IST