Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

SIMI extremists take cover under other banners in Tamil Nadu

Posted by jagoindia on September 23, 2008

SIMI cadres take cover under other banners
15 Sep 2008, 0614 hrs IST, K Praveen Kumar,TNN

CHENNAI: The state police said many former SIMI activists in Tamil Nadu are now active in several Islamic organisations, which share similar ideology. They have ruled out the possibility of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists regrouping in Tamil Nadu.

All 21 SIMI cadres, who were arrested by the Tamil Nadu police after the organisation was banned in September 27, 2001, are now out on bail. The Tamil Nadu police had booked 11 cases against activists of the banned organisation post September, 27, 2001, of which four cases are now in court pending trial and seven are under appeal.

Sources told The Times of India that though the organisational structure of SIMI disintegrated after the ban, the threat from many individuals, earlier active in this organisation still persists, but not in the name of SIMI.

“The arrested accused in the Ahmedabad blasts had told the police about their plans in south Indian states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. They have confessed to having been trained in Kerala. However, they have not mentioned anything about Tamil Nadu. Till date, we have no inputs on the activities of SIMI or the Indian Mujahideen in Tamil Nadu,” a senior police official said.

Most people who were members of SIMI before 2001 can no longer function under the organisational banner as per a clause in the SIMI constitution . “The main deterrent is the maximum age limit allowed for the cadres. No one can continue to be a SIMI member once he attains the age of 30. The constitution of the organisation says that membership of every ‘Ansar’ (member), will be eliminated when he/she attains 30 years of age. This elimination used to be done annually on the last day of February,” a senior police official said.

SIMI, prior to the ban, had also enrolled a considerable number of school children under Shaheen Force, a sister organisation. SIMI had central, zonal and local representatives headed by a president followed by a secretary general.

All the postings had a validity of one year, the official said. The hard line followed by the organisation was evident in the oath, which the cadres took before becoming a member.

“The organisation offered two types of membership. Ansars are hard-core members who are bound by the constitution of SIMI. The Ikwans are friends of SIMI. The constitution of the organisation is against the constitution of the country. Their constitution says that no one except Allah is worthy of obedience, worship and submission ,” the official added.

Before the ban, the police had filed four cases against SIMI, of which one ended in conviction. An appeal in this case is now pending before the court. Further follow-ups were dropped in three cases after the ban. Four SIMI activists from Madurai were held in Ahmedabad in 2001, when they participated in an all-India conference of SIMI, held in Ahmedabad in 2001 after the ban.

However, SIMI’s name does not feature in the biggest case of fundamentalism in Tamil Nadu – the serial bomb blasts in Coimbatore in 1998. “They were mainly booked for delivering public speeches which caused communal tension and publishing articles of fundamental nature. They denounced the sovereignty of the Indian constitution and wanted to establish a world Islamic order which is against nationalism ,” a senior police official said.

According to highly placed sources in the police, many ex-presidents of SIMI are now active in several organisations . Professor M H Jawahirullah , the president of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) was an ex-president of SIMI. M Gulam Muhammed, founder president of Darul Islam Foundation was also an expresident of SIMI. The major leaders of SIMI in Tamil Nadu included Sayed Abdul Rahman Umari, a native of Tirupur, ex-zonal president, Senthil Kumar alias Muhammed Yahia, ex-Chennai city president, Mohammed Ilyas Qureshi, former zonal secretary, Sayed Muhammed of Nellikuppam, SIMI Shihabuddin of Coimbatore , Sayed Abdul Kutusi of Madurai, and K Allauddin, former editor of a Tamil magazine ‘Khilafat’ .


May 15, 2008:

The special division of the state intelligence busted a terror module from Mannadi which, under the leadership of Taufeeque, had planned to carry out major operations in Chennai. Police arrested three of them but Taufeeque managed to escape. One of the escaped accused, Abu Dahir, later surrendered before the court.

July 26, 2008:

The special division busted another major terror plot plotted by Islamic hardliner Ali Abdullah from Puzhal prison and arrested Abdul Gaffoor from Tirunelveli. The group was allegedly planning to blast historic landmarks like Gemini fly-over and the Tirunelveli collectorate.

One Response to “SIMI extremists take cover under other banners in Tamil Nadu”

  1. VILSON said

    NABA KUMAR — alias Swami Aseemanand — was originally from Kamaarpukar village in Hooghly district in West Bengal — the birthplace of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. In 1971, after completing his BSc (honours) from Hooghly, Naba Kumar went to Bardman district to pursue a master’s degree in science. Though he was involved with RSS activities from school, it was during his post-graduation years that Naba Kumar became an active RSS member. In 1977, he started working full-time with the RSS-run Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Purulia and Bankura districts. In 1981, his guru Swami Parmanand rechristened him as Swami Aseemanand.

    From 1988 to 1993, he served with the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram at Andaman and Nicobar islands. Between 1993 and 1997, he toured across India to deliver sermons on Hindu religion among the tribals. In 1997, he settled down in the Dangs district in Gujarat and started a tribal welfare organisation called Shabri Dham. Aseemanand was known in the area for his rabid anti-minority speeches and his relentless campaign against Christian missionaries.

    Aseemanand is seen as being close to the RSS leadership. In the past, leaders like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, former RSS chief KS Sudarshan and current chief Mohan Bhagwat have attended religious functions organised by him at Shabri Dham.

    While Aseemanand was known for his vitriolic anti-minority positions, according to his confession, it was the heinous massacre of Hindu devotees at Akshardham temple by Islamist suicide bombers in 2002 that was the first real kindle for their retaliatory terror attacks.

    “The Muslim terrorists started attacking Hindu temples in 2002,” Aseemanand said. “This caused great concern and anger in me. I used to share my concerns about the growing menace of Islamic terrorism with Bharat Riteshwar of Valsad.”

    In 2003, Aseemanand came in contact with Sunil Joshi and Pragya Singh Thakur. He would often discuss Islamist terrorism with them as well. Finally, according to him, it was the terror attack on Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi in March 2006 which was the real flashpoint for them.

    “In March 2006, Pragya Thakur, Sunil Joshi, Bharat Riteshwar and I decided to give a befitting reply to the Sankatmochan blasts,” Aseemanand told the magistrate.

    Aseemanand gave Rs. 25,000 to Joshi to arrange the necessary logistics for the blasts. He also sent Joshi and Riteshwar to Gorakhpur to seek assistance from firebrand BJP MP Yogi Adityanath. In April 2006, Joshi apparently held a hush-hush meeting with the Adityanath, infamous for his rabid anti-Muslim speeches. But Aseemanand says, “Joshi came back and told me that Adityanath was not of much help.”

    However, this did not deter Aseemanand. He went ahead with his plans.

    In June 2006, Aseemanand, Riteshwar, Sadhvi Pragya and Joshi again met at Riteshwar’s house in Valsad. It proved to be a chilling one, with far-reaching consequences. Joshi, for the first time, brought four associates with him — Dange, Kalsangra, Lokesh Sharma and Ashok alias Amit.

    “I told everybody that bomb ka jawab bomb se dena chahiye, (I told everyone we should answer bombs with bombs),” says Aseemanand. “At that meeting I realised Joshi and his group were already doing something on the subject,” he adds.

    “After the combined meeting,” Aseemanand says, “Joshi, Pragya, Riteshwar and I huddled together for a separate meeting. I suggested that 80 percent of the people of Malegaon were Muslims and we should explode the first bomb in Malegaon itself. I also said that during the Partition, the Nizam of Hyderabad had wanted to go with Pakistan so Hyderabad was also a fair target. Then I said that since Hindus also throng the Ajmer Sharif Dargah in large numbers we should also explode a bomb in Ajmer which would deter the Hindus from going there. I also suggested the Aligarh Muslim University as a terror target.”

    According to Aseemanand everybody agreed to target these places.

    “In the meeting,” Aseemanand continues, “Joshi suggested that it was basically Pakistanis who travel on the Samjhauta Express train that runs between India and Pakistan and therefore we should attack the train as well. Joshi took the responsibility of targeting Samjhauta himself and said that the chemicals required for the blasts would be arranged by Dange.”

    Aseemanand’s confession goes on in grave detail. “Joshi said three teams would be constituted to execute the blasts. One team would arrange finance and logistics. The second team would arrange for the explosives. And the third team would plant the bombs. He also said that the members of one team should not know members from the other two teams. So even if one gets arrested the others would remain safe,” Aseemanand told the magistrate.

    Hate and anger had slipped off the edge into mayhem.

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