New Delhi, Nov 1: The Students Islamic Movement of India is in the news yet again. This time after 8 of its operatives fled from the Bhopal central jail only to be killed in an encounter a few hours later.
The fact is that the SIMI has over the years been down and out and even branched into various outfits such as the Indian Mujahideen etc.
What is SIMI and why is this outfit one of the India's most dangerous? Here are ten points about the outfit that was banned in the year 2001.
Ten points about SIMI:
- SIMI was established on April 25, 1977 at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh by Professor Ahmadullah Siddiqui.
- In 1981 it was part of the Jammat-e-Islami Hind. However ideological differences led to a split with another organisation called Students Islamic Organisation being formed.
- A section of the SIMI believed that the Sharia law must be set up in India and in the process it began radicalising several youth.
- The group which is strong in UP, Kerala, MP, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat,. Delhi and Uttar Pradesh was banned in 2001 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
- The group split into two- Shahid Badr Falahi and Safdar Nagori faction. The Nagori faction is considered to be radical.
- SIMI has carried out major attacks. It had a role in the Mumbai train blasts of 2006 in which 187 people were killed. The 2008 bombing at Gujarat claimed 45 lives.
- SIMI found it hard to function under the ban and the heat. Several of its members opted out of the group to go on and form the dreaded Indian Mujahideen.
- While members of the Indian Mujahideen pledged support to the ISIS, the SIMI has been inclined towards the al-Qaeda.
- In 2013 following a major jail break from Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, seven SIMI operatives attempted to revive the outfit.
- In 2014, the SIMI was part of attacks in Chennai, UP, Pune. Its operatives also indulged in several bank robberies in a bid to raise finances for the revival of the outfit.