Re-imposition of ban on SIMI ‘unfortunate’: Mushawarat

By staff reporter

New Delhi : The All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM) President Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan has criticised the Government’s move to re-impose ban on Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIMI), calling it "unfortunate" and "regrettable".

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"It is unfortunate that the UPA government has seen it fit and justified to clamp the ban on SIMI for another two years," said AIMMM president Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan in a statement released here Friday.

"This step is particularly regrettable when members or former members of SIMI, including its chief at the time of the first ban, are being acquitted or released on bail across the country due to lack of
evidence as, apart from wild allegations and dubious claims of unknown security officers, there is no hard evidence that SIMI was in the past or is at present
involved in any specific and verifiable terrorist activity," he added.

Dr Khan laments that the propaganda against SIMI continues in Sangh-friendly media on the basis of unverifiable information leaked by unknown "security" sources.

"The re-imposition of the ban is also unfortunate because all the cases challenging the ban from the very beginning are still pending in the Supreme Court. In other words, the apex court has yet to say its final word while the government keeps renewing the ban, while
Hindutva outfits despite all their criminal and terrorist activities remain untouched and free to inflict physical and psychological wounds on this nation. Recent events in Gujarat, Orissa and now Maharashtra are clear examples of this double-standard approach," the statement read.

The AIMMM reiterated its stand that terrorism should be condemned and terrorists must be defeated but it cannot help but observe that under the guise of fighting terrorism, Muslim youth are harassed in many parts of the country.

"Reports from various areas suggest that Muslim youths are arbitrarily picked; days and weeks later they are shown to be arrested from somewhere else with arms and bombs while records show that they were arrested from their houses or localities and that FIRs were promptly lodged with the local police and news published in the local media. It is now normal that widest coverage is given by the unquestioning media, the detainees are tortured to force them to sign on prepared statements or on blank papers; then in most cases within months they are released without any fanfare or media attention," the AIMMM leader laments.

The statement maintains that the AIMMM firmly believes that terrorists must be punished for their misdeeds but at the same time it believes that Muslim organisations, youths and localities should not be harassed in the name of fighting terrorism on the basis of unfounded rumours and manufactured information propagated by vested interests in the Sangh Parivar, media, security forces and the bureaucracy.

"Unless the government comes up with substantial proof of SIMI’s involvement in terrorism and takes the Muslim community leadership in confidence, we will continue to see the ban as unjust and arbitrary and an extension of the Hindutva policy to marginalise the
Muslims of India," Dr Khan said in a very candid manner.