Muzamil Jaleel : New Delhi, Tue Sep 25 2012,  Indian Express


In the story of men getting branded “SIMI activists” and charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), innocuous objects take the form of “incriminating material”. The list of such “material”, in which anything written in Urdu or Arabic comes right at the top, is by now predictable — and includes Urdu poetry, pamphlets issued by Hindu groups, newspaper articles about the Sangh Parivar, pictures and videos of the Gujarat riots, books on Islam, complaints against discrimination, as well as verses of the Quran.

* Shabir Ahmad Masiullah, Malegaon, & Nafis Ahmad Jameer Ahmad Ansari, Mumbai

In his statement that was treated as FIR (No. 1106/06, dated August 11, 2006), Assistant Police Inspector Shripad Balkrishna Kale of the Greater Mumbai Police, currently DCB Unit 7, Ghatkopar, Mumbai, claimed that on August 1, 2006, he got information that Shabir Masiullah of Malegaon and Nafis Ahmad of Shivaji Nagar, Mumbai, were “preparing to commit some sabotage acts in the coming Ganesh festival”. Though Shabir and Nafis were picked up immediately, police records show the date of their arrest as August 11, 2006. Kale claims that Shabir, who made and sold batteries and inverters in Malegaon, and Nafis, who worked as a DTP operator in Shivaji Nagar, were both “workers” of SIMI and had received arms training in Pakistan.

Shabir’s case takes a twist. While he was in police custody for his alleged plan to bomb the Ganesh festival from August 1, 2006, five weeks later, the ATS accused him of masterminding the Malegaon blasts of September 8, 2006. In January 2011, Malegaon blast accused Aseemanand confessed that a Hindu group was involved in the 2006 attack. On November 16 last year, Shabir was among the seven who were granted bail and walked free.

A day after Shabir and Nafis were arrested, DCB, CID Unit 7, Ghatkopar, had invited Pradip Pandurang Shirodhkar and Sunny Jogmohansingh Sidana as witnesses. According to the panchnama, Nafis was taken to his home where he “voluntarily’’ took out a “black rexine bag’’ and handed over “incriminating material”. Here is what the police claim to have found: an Urdu-language children’s monthly journal Umang published by Urdu Academy, Delhi. The police also claimed to have recovered a SIMI pamphlet, SIMI Rudad—1998-2000 (The story of SIMI from 1998 to 2000).

These pamphlets had been printed before the ban on SIMI in September 2001 and were seized in bulk from various SIMI offices across the country.

* Younis Khan, Juna Risala, Indore

FIR 135/08, dated April 10, 2008, filed at the Sadar Bazar police station in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, says Mohammad Younis was arrested from Smrati Talkies for “propagating” SIMI and “inciting” the Muslim community against the arrests of SIMI members. In his affidavit before the UAPA tribunal in 2010, J D Bhonsle, Town Inspector, Depalpur Police Station, said that on April 10, 2008, “the accused was arrested and pamphlet seized from him in which there was statement about the status of Islam and Muslims in India and reference to the Pakistani organisation ISI, where it is insinuated that all Muslims are being equated with ISI. In this way, the disaffection of SIMI towards India and the sympathy with Pakistani organisation ISI is clearly evident’’. The inspector doesn’t explain how a complaint that Indian Muslims are being wrongly suspected to be ISI agents can be interpreted as sympathy towards a Pakistani organisation.

Inspector Bhonsle also reveals that the police seized the previous day’s newspaper, the Indore edition of Dainik Jagran, dated April 9, 2008, from the accused. According to Bhonsle, it was “incriminating” material because it had “news of the 13-hour-long narco test of SIMI activists Safdar Nagori, Kamruddin Nagori and Amil Parvez”.

Bhonsle also says the accused “admitted” that he had joined Dars-e-Quran (learning of Quran) classes at Chhoti Gawl Toli mosque from 1999 to 2000. Dars-e-Quran is basic Quranic education and is not illegal.

* Faisal of Holikhut; Irfan and Shakir, Narsinghgarh, Madhya Pradesh

In his affidavit before the UAPA tribunal in 2010, Inspector Vikram Singh Bhadoria (who was Station House Officer, Narsinghgarh, when the case was filed) alleges that Faisal, Irfan and Shakir had met SIMI leader Safdar Nagori during his visit to Narsinghgarh. Though the police claim that the three came to the police station after they were summoned, they were arrested and a case was lodged against them (FIR No. 142/08, date April 5, 2008).

During investigation, Inspector Bhadoria claimed, SIMI pamphlets with an aim to “propagate enmity between religions’’ were recovered from the accused. According to the final report, the police seized two papers from Faisal which had “bhadkane wali aayaten (provocative verses)” from the Quran against other religions.

The story of this document is interesting. The document, “Quran ki kuch aayten jo Iman walon (Musalmanon) ko anya dharamvalambiyon se jhagda karne ka aadesh deti hain (A few of the verses from the Quran that order the Muslims to fight those belonging to other religions)”, had been printed by the Hindu Writers’ Forum, New Delhi, in which they had made derogatory remarks about the Quran. Another “incriminating” document is a one-page document in Urdu that talks about the basic tenets of Islam—namaz (prayers), fasting, zakat (charity), and Hajj.

 * Abdul Razzak, Nayapura, Indore

In his FIR (159/08), M G Road Station House Officer Inspector Kailash Chandra Malviya says that the police arrested Abdul Razzak on March 30, 2008, for “doing propaganda against the government”. Malviya says Razzak was standing on the street near Ghadi Wali Masjid in Nayapura, Indore, and the police team heard him say: ‘What will happen if the government has banned SIMI? I am a member of SIMI and will remain a member of SIMI.’

Inspector Malviya says they arrested him and “found two books of Urdu language in the pocket of his kurta”. One of them was on the essence of employment while the other was about Hindu religion and the concept of a single god. Malviya says that one of the books had “SIMI written on it by pen” while the other had a SIMI seal. The police also claim to have recovered 36 other “incriminating” books from him that include ‘Life of Mohammad’ published in New Delhi, Darse Quran (Teachings of Quran) and a self-help book, Herbert Fensterheim’s ‘Don’t Say Yes When You Want To Say No’. All “incriminating evidence”.


* Jamir Ahmad and Abdul Rehman @ Papa Bhai

Jamir Ahmad and Abdul Rehman had two FIRs filed against them — one on May 28, 2001, four months before the ban on SIMI, and then on September 28, 2001, a day after the ban. The FIR in the first case (FIR 250/2001), filed at the Seoni police station in MP, says that Jamir and Papa Bhai were arrested after Raja Bhagel of Ganj, Seoni, complained that the duo had sold him a book that “contained material which was against the feelings of other communities and was a SIMI book.” The police say that the two were arrested and were later bailed out.

On September 28, 2001, Seoni police station acted again and arrested Jamir and Papa Bhai “while they were standing near Choti masjid’’. The police registered an FIR (423/01) and charged them under the UAPA. The FIR claims that “they were discussing matters related to SIMI and proclaiming that if America or any other country attacked Taliban, then all Muslims and followers of Islam must be ready for jihad’’.

In the challan filed by the police on May 31, 2003, the police accused him of participating in “Seerat Pak Jalsa” on June 10, 2001, which the police claimed to be unlawful. ‘Pak’ means pure and is generally used in reverence while referring to the Quran or the Prophet’s life and ‘Seerat Pak Jalsa’ was a gathering on the life of the Prophet. But the police challan translates ‘Seerat Pak’ as “goodness of Pakistan”. Also part of the “evidence” was a letter that the police claimed had been written by Jamir to the Prime Minister seeking action against the VHP.


* Khalid Mucchale

In the case against alleged SIMI activist Khalid Mucchale at Vijaypur Naka police station, Solapur (FIR 3036/2008, dated April 1, 2008), a couplet of Mirza Ghalib, which was part of a one-page complaint against harassment of Muslims, was declared “incriminating”. The police also claimed to have seized a document published by the Rashtriya Vichar Manch from the accused. This document talks about alleged “growth of Muslims and Christian population and its devastating effects” and seeks “effective anti-conversion laws”.