This year in February, the Modi government extended a ban on SIMI for a period of five more years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The Gujarat police on Thursday arrested a top functionary of the banned Islamic outfit SIMI from his residence in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. Shahid Badra, a former national president of SIMI, was on the run for the last 18 years after a case of rioting was registered against him in 2001.
Badra was booked on the charges of rioting, unlawful assembly and assault on a public servant. He was arrested after a four-member team of the Kutch police acting on a tip-off raided his residence in Azamgarh on Thursday night. The arrested SIMI member has been named in around eight FIRs of riots in different cities including Delhi, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and Bahraich.
SIMI is a banned Islamist organisation which was established in Aligarh in April 1977. Its mission was to “liberate India from the Western materialistic cultural influence and to convert its Muslim society to live as per Islamic law”. After its name cropped up in in a series of terror acts and subversive activities in the country, SIMI was banned by the central government in 2001.
However, the ban was lifted in 2008 by a special tribunal but was reinstated by then CJI KG Balakrishnan on national security grounds. This year in February, the Modi government extended a ban on SIMI for a period of five more years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
So far, the Islamic outfit has been banned three times. According to reports, a special tribunal head had found that SIMI had links with Pakistan-based terror outfits and its front, the Indian Mujahideen.