SIMI not a terrorist outfit says Samajwadi Party

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Lucknow, July 13: A couple of days after the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was suspected to be involved in Mumbai blasts, the Samajwadi Party-led Uttar Pradesh government today came in strong defence of the organisation saying it was not a terrorist outfit.

''There may be some with dubious distinction in SIMI, but it is wrong to dub the whole organisation as terrorist,'' senior UP minister and Samajwadi Party general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav told reporters here.

Earlier, chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav also expressed similar same sentiments, saying no evidence about SIMI's involvement in two major incidents the Ayodhya attack and serial bomb blasts in Varanasi--had been found.

''The ban on SIMI is there, but that is vide order of the central government,'' he added.

The role of SIMI was still under investigation in Mumbai blasts and it would be improper to call it as a 'terrorist organisation', the UP CM said.

The present stand of the ruling SP comes even as the role of SIMI is under the scanner of the investigative agencies following Mumai serial bomb blasts, which claimed about 200 lives.

The SP general secretary alleged previous governments in UP had misused SIMI's name to target some politicians, and termed such measures ''highly condemnable''. ''Even my name alongwith some other SP leaders was framed in the SIMI list,'' he alleged.

''We are extremely critical of the Mumbai incident, but at the same time stand against the propoganada against SIMI,'' he said.

Interestingly, UP had opposed the ban notice of the centre sent to the state government on May 22, arguing the organisation was not involved in ''any activities'' and neither had it (UP) received any complaint against SIMI.

The notice was part of overall process to ban SIMI, which was issued by the office of the Registrar, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal at Delhi.


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