Centre empowers states, UTs to declare SIMI banned group under UAPA

NEW DELHI — The Centre on Monday gave powers to all states and Union Territories to declare Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) a banned organisation under the anti-terror law UAPA.

On January 29, the Central government extended the ban imposed on the SIMI for five more years.

While extending the ban on the organisation, the government had said the group has been involved in fomenting terrorism and disturbing peace and communal harmony in the country.

In a notification on Monday, the Union Home Ministry said in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 42 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central government directs that all powers exercisable by it under section 7 and section 8 of the said Act shall also be exercised by the state governments and the Union Territory administrations in relation to the unlawful association SIMI.

As many as 10 state governments — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh — have recommended for declaration of SIMI as an “unlawful association” under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The SIMI was first declared outlawed in 2001 when the Atal Bihar Vajpayee government was in power and since then the ban has been extended periodically. The SIMI has been continuing its subversive activities and re-organising its activists who are still absconding, the home ministry said in its notification.

It is disrupting the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal, disharmony, propagating anti-national sentiments and escalating secessionism by supporting militancy and undertaking activities which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country, it added. — (PTI)