'SIMI, right-wing groups running terror camps in India'

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New Delhi, May 9: Banned terror outfit Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and other right-wing majoritarian groups are organising training camps for budding terrorists on Indian soil, the Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh on Wednesday told Rajya Sabha that investigation conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) showed that training camps were organised by the SIMI and right-wing majoritarian groups or their cadres.

Singh said in his reply that the NIA arrested 33 accused belonging to the SIMI and 26 in connection to terror acts involving eight-wing majoritarian groups. The minister also said that charge-sheets have been filed in the concerned courts.

In March, the NIA arrested SIMI operative Manzar Imam, a participant in secret SIMI training camps at Vagamon in Kerala's Kottayam district in December 2007, where he mastered skills in firing, tough terrain diving and making and using explosives. He also reportedly attended Jihadi classes to wage war against the country, the minister said. Imam was arrested from Jharkhand.

In 2011, the NIA chargesheeted 30 hardcore SIMI members for attending terror camps. The SIMI also organised such camps in Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh besides Kerala, it was said. The outfit, although was banned by the Home Ministry in 2001, continues to be active through frontal organisations.

The Home Ministry said last year that at least four outfits work as frontal organisations of the banned SIMI and they are: Tehreek-e-Ehyaa-e-Ummat, Tehreek-Talaba-e-Arabia, Wahdat-e-Islami, and Tahrik Tahaffuz-e-Shaaire Islam.

In January, Union Home Minister Susilkumar Shinde remarked that the BJP and the RSS ran terror camps on the Indian soil and his statement drew massive ire from the opposition. Shinde later apologised for his comment after the opposition boycotted him and the situation worsened, indicating at disruption of the crucial budget session of the Parliament.

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