SIMI tribunal resumes hearing in Kerala; Lawyer says cases fabricated

By TCN Staff Reporter,

Thiruvananthapuram: The Delhi High Court tribunal looking into the sixth ban on SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) resumed hearing at Thaikkad government guesthouse in Thiruvananthapuram here on Thursday. Judge VK Shali who began hearing last month in Delhi will hold sittings for two more days in the state capital of Kerala.

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SIMI’s counsel Adv Mubeen Akthar argued that the cases registered within the state against the organisation are all fabricated ones. He informed the tribunal that Police and the National Investigation Agency [NIA] were until now unable to present any evidences on cases against SIMI.

At the same time NIA officials stated that SIMI is still active in the state and they submitted details on the four cases registered against the organisation. SP rank officers of NIA, Larry Dorji Lattu and Sajid Fareed Sabu submitted reports on four cases including Edakkad Kashmir recruitment case, Vagamon camp and Panaikulam meeting. The officers asserted that all those convicted and accused in these cases are members of SIMI.

Adv. Mubeen Akthar then opposed the NIA statement by informing the tribunal that the public meeting conducted on the Independence Day eve by a few Muslim youths at Panaikulam was later portrayed as a ‘secret camp of SIMI’ by the Police officers. The police forcefully broke into the public meeting conducted in an auditorium at Panaikulam and arrested those who took part in the Independence Day meeting, he said.

He further stated that the police remained unsuccessful in proving that the arrested youths were SIMI activists and the officers who presented before the tribunal in 2010 too have admitted this fact. He added that in the other cases too NIA is still unable to prove that the accused belongs to SIMI and no witnesses have been presented in support of their claim. He accused NIA and Police of coming up with baseless accusations against SIMI with the vested interest of extending the ban against the organisation.

Recently a lawyer and Human rights activist Adv Shanavas was arrested by the Kerala Police high tech cell over his alleged involvement in leaking intelligence communication in the infamous Muslim specific cyber surveillance and e-mail snooping in Kerala. He was assisting the SIMI lawyers in the tribunal for past many years and was on the way preparing for the tribunal’s sitting. The arrest was made a day before the tribunal’s sitting. The urgency for arrest close to the tribunal’s sitting has raised suspicions. The last time when the tribunal sat, he was arguing against the continuation of the ban on SIMI.

The hearing started by 10 in the morning and lasted until noon. Besides Mubeen Akthar, the Madurai high court Advocate K Keshavan too was present before the tribunal from the SIMI side. Central Bar Council Members Sanjay Kathiar and Shylendar Sharma were the union govt representatives present before the tribunal.