SIMI ban upheld by tribunal for five more years

New Delhi


A special tribunal Wednesday upheld the ban imposed by the central government on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for another five years.

The centre says SIMI has links with Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its front, Indian Mujahideen.

Justice Suresh Kait of the Delhi High Court, who heads the tribunal, submitted the report to the home ministry and upheld the ban on SIMI and validated a central government notification, issued in February, extending the ban for another five years.

Upholding the ban, the tribunal held that there were valid reasons to ratify the ban imposed by the government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

SIMI was declared outlawed in 2001 when it came to light that the group was involved in terrorist activities.

The group was having close contacts with the LeT and was charged with carrying out several terror strikes along with the Indian Mujahideen.

Though SIMI challenged the government's move in various courts and also before the Special Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act tribunals on a number of occasions, it did not get any relief.

The tribunal constituted under the Act had to decide if there was sufficient cause to declare an organisation unlawful.

The tribunal conducted its hearings in several cities across India and took on record the testimonies of various police officers and others to adjudicate the issue.

This is the first time that the ban has been extended by five years.

The last extension, notified in February 2012, was for two years. - IANS