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02 May 2012

Trust that hosted AIMPLB convention is SIMI front: Centre

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By Mohammad Ali

The Maharashtra-based Khair-e-Ummat Trust, one of the hosts of the recent three-day convention of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) in Mumbai, has been named by the Union government as one of the “fronts/pseudonymous organisations of SIMI.”

The trust's general secretary, Haroon Mozawalla, has decided to present its case before Justice V.K. Shali, who heads the one-man tribunal that is determining the validity of the ban on SIMI. Justice Shali is slated to visit Maharashtra to examine the evidence against SIMI.

The Home Ministry's “background note on the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI),” a copy of which is with The Hindu, mentions four more organisations as being SIMI ‘fronts' at the national level — Tahreek-e-Ehyaa-e-Ummat (TEU), Tehreek-Talaba-e-Arabia (TTA), Tahrik Tahaffuz-e-Shaaire Islam (TTSI) and Wahdat-e-Islami.

Importantly, the Union government has not banned these groups, which it claims to be ‘fronts' of SIMI that was declared an unlawful group under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The note is part of the government's arguments before the Justice Shali Tribunal.
The government has argued that after the ban, SIMI had been trying to revive itself through fronts and pseudonymous organisations in a clandestine manner.

The background note alleges that the Khair-e-Ummat trust, which tops the list from Maharashtra, is one of the three dozen ‘fronts,' “organisations of SIMI, which are State-specific and are being used for carrying out its activities, including collection of funds, circulation of literature, regrouping of cadres, etc.”

Mr. Mozawalla denied ever being contacted by any government authority regarding the issue.
“We are a charitable organisation working for the underprivileged in areas of education and medical facilities since 1998,” he told The Hindu.

When contacted, a Home Ministry spokesperson said it was not the practice of the Ministry to comment on a matter pending before the tribunal.

The AIMPLB reacted very strongly to the news. “Intelligence Agencies are bringing a bad name to the government. No one knows who directs the agencies which are hell-bent on accusing each and every Muslim organisation for an undesirable act,” Abdul Rahim Qureishi, general secretary of the AIMPLB, said.

“The activists of SIMI have managed to enter into political parties and have been found to be maintaining links with other Muslim organisations for putting pressure on the Government to lift ban on SIMI,” the background note claims, without giving any detail or naming any political party.

(Courtesy: The Hindu)

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