Date: 6/7/2006


Maharashtra under Simi shadow//////// Author: Olga Tellis Publication: The Asian Age/////// Date: June 2, 2006 /////// Maharashtra has been under the shadow of the Students' Islamic Movement of India (Simi) ever since the 1980s, but this shadow has now become more menacing. It is a well-known fact that the targets of militant groups like Simi and the Kafila Shakt Jaan are Hindu fundamentalist groups like the RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad. ///////// The RSS is a natural target because it is the largest and most influential group. In Simi, recruits are allowed to remain only up to the age of 30 years. After that they go to the Kafila Shakt Jaan. Earlier, those above 30, known as ansars, went to the Jamaat-e-Islam, but when the latter found out that Simi members followed the militant path, they denounced them in 1991. /////// "The Kafila Shakt Jaan, started in 1992, is a hardcore terrorist outfit," according to sources. Simi is a banned outfit but it continues to recruit members and has active pockets in predominantly Muslim areas in Malegaon, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Akola and Mumbai. //////// Earlier, Maharashtra College was said to be a Simi hub. They used to be sent to Pakistan for training and many of them in the 1980s received training at Osama bin Laden camps, the sources said. /////// Many of them were, and continue to be, on the payroll of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). /////// Simi had, in the 1990s, provided the manpower to the Pakistan-trained Canada-based Manjeet Singh, alias Lal Singh, alias Iqbal Ahmed, currently facing a life imprisonment term in Gujarat. //////// Recently, most of the terrorists arrested in Aurangabad, Malegaon and Nashik were Simi men. The police recovered 16 AK-47 rifles, 62 magazines, 3,200 bullets, 43 kg of RDX and 50 hand grenades from Aurangabad, Nashik and Malegaon after three persons were arrested by the ATS from Aurangabad on May 9. /////// The sources said that it is very difficult for the police to control these groups as the police don't have a good underworld network. /////// The questions that remain unanswered in this grim situation are: ////// What is the route though which these arms are coming in? /////// How do they come from Pakistan into India and reach Nagpur, Aurangabad and Malegaon? /////// Who are the persons responsible for bringing the arms and providing people with accommodation and finance? Where are their hideouts? //////// In the foiled attack on the RSS headquarters, the militants have been killed. But who is the brain behind the planning?/////// 000000000