Centre gives list of 409 cases against SIMI activists to SC

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New Delhi, Aug 20 (UNI) The Union government today submitted in the Supreme Court a list of 409 cases registered against SIMI activists in the country since Feb 7, 2006.

In its fresh 30-page affidavit filed in the apex court today, the Centre has also submitted that the arrest of over a dozen SIMI activists by Gujarat and Rajasthan Police for their alleged involvement in the recent Ahmedabad bomb explosions and recovery of over 20 live bombs from Surat in Gujarat is the latest proof of SIMI's active involvement in terrorist and anti-national activities.

This evidence was not before Delhi High Court Special Tribunal Justice Geeta Mittal when she passed an order on August 5 lifting the ban on SIMI.

The Union Home Ministry in its fresh affidavit has also alleged that SIMI was being funded by Arab countries and its leadership has close relations with known mafia dons like Dawood Ibrahim and also with Al Qaeda of Osama bin Laden.

According to the government, list of 409 cases for terrorist activities across the country was ample proof and sufficient to justify the ban on this organisation which has close relations even with Pakistan-based terrorist outfits.

The Supreme Court had stayed the operation of the High Court judgement on August 6 when Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

The stay was granted for three weeks to enable the government to file an appeal against 263-page judgement of Delhi High Court.

The apex court is going to hear the appeal of the Center on August 25 as three weeks period expired on August 27.

The Centre had imposed a ban on SIMI for the first time in 2001.

It had issued fresh notification on February 7 this year extending the ban for another two years. The government notification was challenged by SIMI in the High Court contending that SIMI was not involved in any terrorist or anti-national activities and therefore, the ban on SIMI under the prevention of (unlawful activities) Act is illegal.

Gujarat DGP P C Pande, in a press conference on August 16, had also revealed that SIMI has changed it name and the new name is 'Indian Mujahideen', which has claimed responsibility for Ahmedabad blast on July 26, in which, about 100 lives were lost and even the hospital was targetted. Maharashtra Police has also arrested three SIMI activist from Pune.

The Union government is seeking stay against the impugned High Court order till the final disposal of the appeal of the Union government. The government has also prayed to the apex court to quash Delhi High Court order as there is strong evidence showing involvement of SIMI activists in terrorist and anti-national activities posing a great threat to national integrity as well as to communal harmony in the country.

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