The Ministry of Home Affairs extended the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for five more years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), it announced on Monday. The home ministry said that the SIMI has been involved in disturbing peace and communal harmony to "threaten the sovereignty, security and integrity of Bharat."
What is SIMI?
Established in April 1977 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, SIMI is an Islamic organisation that was founded by Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi, a professor at the Aligarh Muslim University. Initially, SIMI focused on student activism and sought to address issues faced by the Muslim community in India. However, over time, the organisation faced allegations of promoting radical ideologies and involvement in activities that raised security concerns.
The Indian government banned SIMI in September 2001 citing its alleged involvement in promoting terrorism and unlawful activities. The ban was reinforced in subsequent years due to concerns about the group's potential links to extremism. The government accused SIMI of having connections with militant outfits and participating in activities that posed a threat to national security.
SIMI members' hunger strike in Bhopal Central Jail
Earlier this month, four SIMI members lodged in Bhopal Central Jail went on hunger strike.
Four activists from the outlawed Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) are currently on a hunger strike in Bhopal Central Jail, pressing for their demands. They reportedly demanded that they be allowed to wear skull caps, offer namaz in group, and provide newspaper and library facilities. They went on hunger strike to reportedly pressurise the jail administration into giving into their demands.