How the radical SIMI was born in Karnataka
As the police try to find a concrete SIMI link to the Church Street blasts, it would be interesting to note that the radical version of this outfit was born in Karnataka.
A year after the ban there was a major meeting of the SIMI operatives led by Safdar Nagori held at Hubli in which it was decided that the outfit would go radical and there is no point in fighting the governments against the ban.
The Hubli meeting:
A year after the ban on the SIMI, several members of the group thought that they would fight the ban in the court of law. These group continues to do just that even till date.
However, a faction led by Safdar Nagori and his brother Kamruddin Nagori felt that the best way to fight the ban is through violence.
They had decided that it was time to take the violent path. Nagori had a major following by word of mouth they decided to have a meeting in Hubli.
At the Hubli meeting which was held near the bus stand there was a huge gathering of SIMI members.
All these men vowed to fight the Indian establishment. Members from various states attended this meeting held in Hubli.
A volatile Hubli proved good for SIMI:
The SIMI meeting was held in Hubli only with the intention of taking advantage of the volatile situation that prevailed in this place owing to the Idgah Maidan issue.
Several members from Hubli made the arrangements for this major meeting which was attended by the likes of Abdus Subhan, Riazuddin Nazir among others.
They decided to have dedicated wings in all parts of the country. Moreover, Karnataka bordering Kerala also added to their advantage.
A similar meeting of the SIMI was held at the Vagmon camp in Kerala five years after the Hubli meet.
Nagori arrested and the birth of the IM:
However Nagori could not fulfill his dream as he had been arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police. However, several of his followers swore to continue the cause and carry out attacks in India.
At around this time the ISI came into the picture and decided to pave the way for home grown terror.
It was suggested that since there was too much heat on the SIMI, they would need to operate as a different wing. This led to the birth of the Indian Mujahideen.
The IM was headed by the likes of Subhan who originally was working as an editor with a magazine that SIMI published.
He along with the rest carried out a series of attacks which started off in Uttar Pradesh another hub for the SIMI.
Further Karnataka connection:
It may be recalled that the founding members of the Indian Mujahideen also roped in the likes of Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal who were from the coastal Karnataka town of Bhatkal.
The Bhatkal brothers went on to strengthen the outfit by roping in Yasin Bhatkal. In fact it was the Bhatkals who managed to smuggle out a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate out of Udupi and send it to various parts of the country.
The same was used in the several blasts that they undertook.
Incidentally Alok Kumar who is the additional commissioner of police played a major role in identifying this network. The police had come close to nabbing all of them after they took transported the ammonium nitrate and took shelter in Shimoga. However they managed to escape before the police reached the spot.
The collapse of the IM:
After having a dream run the IM collapsed following the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal and his accomplices.
This time around the IM was unable to sustain as it had done earlier when the first module headed by Subhan was busted.
Subhan, Riyaz and Iqbal are currently in Pakistan according to the intelligence bureau.
After the arrest of Yasin the IM collapsed and once again the SIMI took over. The SIMI carried out the blast at Bodhgaya and Patna thus announcing its return.
Today the SIMI is being run by five persons who had escaped from the Khandwa jail. Their role has been suspected in the Pune, Chennai and now the Church Street blasts.