<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight SIMI activists who were under trial were killed on Monday in an alleged encounter with police on the outskirts of Bhopal, hours after they escaped from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail after killing a security guard. The eight activists were identified as Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu, Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid, a police official said.SIMI was banned by the government of India in 2001. Here is what you need to know about this banned organisation.FOUNDATION OF THE ORGANISATION:Students Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, was founded on April 25, 1977 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. Mohammad Ahmadaullah Siddiqi was the founder of SIMI, who currently is a Professor of Journalism and Public Relations at the Western Illinois University in USA. It was launched as a student wing of Jammat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), however the alliance broke in 1981 after SIMI activists protested against Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat’s visit to India. Arafat was greeted with black flags upon his visit to New Delhi by SIMI activists. JIH eventually abandoned SIMI and floated a new student wing called the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO).IDEOLOGY:As an organisation, SIMI does not believe in the Indian Constitution or the secular order. SIMI is widely believed to be against Hinduism, western beliefs and ideals, as well as other ‘anti-Islamic cultures’. Young extremist students of SIMI declared Jihad against India; to establish Dar-ul-Islam (land of Islam) by either forced conversion or by violence is the aim of it.STRONG PRESENCE OF SIMI:SIMI has strong presence in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra (especially in Thane, Jalgaon, Malegaon and Aurangabad), Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram, Kondutty in Malappuram district), Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. It is alleged that prominent Islamist organisations like Kerala-based National Democratic Front and Islamic Youth Centre (IYC), and Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), are controlled by former SIMI cadres. BANNING OF THE ORGANISATION:Following the 9/11 attack in America, the Government of India banned SIMI under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for alleged anti-national activities. As soon as SIMI was outlawed, national president of the organisation Dr Shahid Badar Falah was arrested from Delhi and was charged with sedition and inciting communal trouble in Uttar Pradesh.Organisation’s secretary general, Safdar Nagori, who was absconding since 2001, was arrested in 2008 from Indore. He is alleged to have established links with Pakistan’s ISI and other Islamist fundamentalist leaders. SIMI is alleged to have conducted the 2006 Mumbai bomb blasts that killed 187 people. Top SIMI leader Abul Bashar Qasmi was arrested in August 2008 for allegedly being the mastermind behind the July 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts.
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