EXPOSÉ: The SIMI Fictions

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Stone and shield Indian security personnel stand guard outside the Charminar in Hyderabad as tension spirals in the city in March, 2006
Stone and shield Indian security personnel stand guard outside the Charminar in Hyderabad as tension spirals in the city in March, 2006
Photo: AP

ON THE morning of September 27, 2001, Shahid Badr Falahi, a doctor of the alternative medicine system of Unani and the president of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), sat with a few colleagues in the SIMI office in a Muslim neighbourhood of South Delhi, wondering what’s next. Fatigued from two weeks of public meetings across Uttar Pradesh from where he had returned only the previous night, Falahi had just finished speaking with SIMI’s office-bearers across India. Using the local STD booth as his office phone had been dead for hours, call after call fetched an echo: anxious SIMI activists in Mumbai, Lucknow, Indore, Kolkata, Chennai, Kozhikode, Patna and other cities said the police had sealed their offices the previous night without explanation. At 4 pm, Falahi got to know why. The television news announced that the Union Home Ministry had invoked a 1967 law against “unlawful activities” and banned SIMI for two years with immediate effect.
“The nature of this organisation had become apparent and preliminary information sent by various state governments only confirmed its tendencies,” LK Advani, then Union Home Minister, told reporters that evening. The notification his ministry issued that day banning SIMI qualified Advani’s assertion. “SIMI has been indulging in activities which are prejudicial to the security of the country and have the potential of disturbing peace and communal harmony and disrupting the secular fabric of the country,” the terse, six-paragraph notification said, strongly suggesting that the government had a watertight case against SIMI with unchallengeable proof. Read More >
 
The Thin Red Line
Tehelka’s exhaustive investigation reveals the Indian state in an unjust and dangerous place
By Tarun J Tejpal
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Inside The Whale: State Vs Shahid Badr Falahi
In case after case, the ex-president of SIMI has been the target of the law agencies’ absurd yet sinister charges
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The Good Doctor’s Complications
Absolved by several courts, a former SIMI office-bearer continues to face the stigma that bars him from home and job
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They just want Muslim boys to always be in jail
Moutasim Billah has been a police scapegoat for seven years, even though they acknowledge they have nothing on him
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A Doubtful Crime, And Years Of Unfair Punishment
Yasin Patel is the only SIMI activist to be convicted under POTA. His crime was nothing more serious than an offensive poster
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The Cry Of The Beloved Country
Chilling stories of fathers and brothers swallowed by midnight arrests, as family members lack the resources for legal redress
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The Haunt Of Our Past Lives
A leading Muslim outfit in Tamil Nadu is accused of killing Hindus. But the Centre’s lawyers can’t remember their own evidence
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SIMI Here, SIMI There, SIMI Everywhere
This SIMI litigation is an omnibus case in which the 100 plus accused are now always at hand to be implicated in future cases
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The History Appraiser Caught With His Books
Among Abdul Razik’s crimes: books, old issues of a SIMI magazine and a talk on Muslims in the freedom struggle
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A Man Of God, Not A Man Of Terror
The Centre casually links a septuagenarian religious leader with SIMI — and then fails to sustain its reckless accusation against him
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Dissent Or Don’t, You’re Damned Either Way
Since when did protest get you called a jehadi? Ask M. Elliyas, jailed under a ludicrous law
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The Left Hand Doesn’t Know, Or Doesn’t It?
The bizarre case of Ziauddin Siddiqui, injured in a clash with police, given compensation — and then accused of rioting and sedition
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The Case Of The Absconding Lawyer
Midway through the tribunal, a key SIMI lawyer is suddenly arrested in an old, forgotten case and released as arguments end
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A Judge Stirs A Hornet’s Nest
Mere opinions, a stunning abscence of facts and gross violations of law in the Centre’s case against SIMI are what moved tribunal judge Geeta Mittal to reject the ban
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‘The Supreme Court’s stay is a murder of justice’
Despite the setback, SIMI’s ex-president Shahid Badr Falahi is confident the body will be legitimate again
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Terror Has Two Faces
A shadowy, pan-Islamic seditious organisation or merely a conservative Islamist and politically conscious student group? Read and draw your own conclusions on SIMI
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