Shahi Imam demands lifting of ban on SIMI

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (UNI) The Shahi Imam of Delhi's Fatehpuri Mosque, Maulana Mufti Mohammad Mukaram Ahmed, today sought the lifting of ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

In a message on the eve of tenth day (Ashoora) of Muharram, he said the UPA government was secular in nature and character and as such should not act in accordance with the policy of the previous BJP-led NDA regime in banning a Muslim organisation.

''Nothing objectionable has been found from the members of SIMI,'' he claimed.

The Centre first banned SIMI on September 27, 2001 immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks in the US.

The ban remained in force from September 27, 2001 to September 27, 2003 during which several prosecutions were launched against its members under the provisions of Terrorist And Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA), the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and the Unlawful Activities Provisions Act 1967.

The second term of the ban was from September 27, 2003 to September 27, 2005. From September 28, 2005 to February 7, 2006, SIMI was in existence but unable to function in any manner.

The ban was extended for the third time on February 8, 2006 and continued to remain in force till date.

UNI AG MSJ BD1618

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