Monday 21st Jan 2019
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COURT ACQUITS EIGHT ‘SIMI ACTIVISTS’

Inside India

Twelve years after Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was declared a terror outfit and banned, a Vikhroli magistrate court on 8 July acquitted eight alleged members, including Abdul Wahid Din Shaikh, an undertrial in the July 11, 2006, serial train blasts case. Park Site Police claimed that the Vikhroli branch of the organisation decided to force a bandh a day after the central government issued a notification banning SIMI on 27 September, 2001. Four police squads were sent to an alleged SIMI office on the first floor of a building in Park Site, Vikhroli. While the office door was shut, the police allegedly heard four men speak about the bandh in a neighbouring room. “While the four were arrested, four more were held a few days later. All were tried under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” said Sharif Shaikh, defence lawyer. The accused spent a month or two in jail before they were released on bail.

Shaikh was arrested later for his alleged role in the 2006 train blasts. Police claimed to have found banners and incriminating documents on the accused. However, when the case came up for hearing in 2005, no documents were furnished to the court. “Prosecution could not even establish they were SIMI members,” the defence lawyer said. Nine witnesses – seven police and two panchs – were examined by the prosecution. Both panch witnesses turned hostile.



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