Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi
Zakat (donation) by devotees and the money collected from the sale of goatskin offered at mosques during the celebration of Bakr-Eid are major sources of terror funding for the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India.
The confessional statements of SIMI chief Safdar Nagori and a senior commander of the outfit, Aamil Parvaz, have revealed that the outfit responsible for several terror blasts across the country also received significant contributions from its former members based in the Gulf.
The money received from the Gulf has particularly been used by former ansars (full-time members) of SIMI, mainly for meeting litigation expenses, top SIMI commander Aamil Parwaz told interrogators while providing details about the finances of the outfit.
Parwaz also told the officials that the funds were also used by the Shaheen Force, a front of SIMI, to attract children into its fold with a view to catching them young for terror activities. The children and relatives of SIMI members were “activated” for the Shaheen Force which, in turn, would bring their friends into the fold of the front. Religious books and sweets were distributed among the members of the front. “Besides, Quranic teachings were also recited on occasions,” Parwaz told the interrogators and claimed that the front was inactivated after the ban on SIMI.
The revelation came during the interrogation of Parwaz by the Madhya Pradesh police earlier this year. Parwaz is currently under the custody of Gujarat police for interrogation into the Ahmedabad serial blasts.
During his interrogation by the MP police and intelligence sleuths, Nagori revealed that collection of funds prior to the ban on the outfit was done in a “normal” manner. After the ban, however, the outfit members collected donations from other members and sympathisers at the local level. After deducting the expenses for local activities, the remaining amount was sent to the treasurer of the outfit.
Parwaz, 34, also told the interrogators that SIMI finances were also strengthened by donations from well-off members of the community, including from Manzoor of Pakeeza Collections of Indore, owners of Mayur Hospital and Balwas Hotel of Bhopal. Other influential community members who knowingly contributed to SIMI included Hazi Israr, Abdul Rais and the owners of Madhumilan Talkies of Indore.
In his confessional statement, Parwaz also told the investigators that these community members contributed despite the knowledge that SIMI was a banned outfit under the law.
The interrogation report of Parwaz, classified as top secret, also reveals the mobile telephone numbers used by the top SIMI commanders. While Parwaz largely operated from his cellular phone (number 9755121736), Safdar Nagori used number 9907788584 and Kamruddin operated through his connection (number 9907788564). The input is expected to be analysed by the Gujarat police to further unravel the perpetrators behind the Ahmedabad serial blasts, which had killed over 50 persons and left more than 100 injured.