Throughout its tenure, Modi government has made it a point to go hammer and tongs after the terror organisations operating across India. It has shown an unforgiving attitude towards terrorism and it can be said that for the first time a government is truly following the policy of zero tolerance towards terror.
Now, the government has taken yet another move to combat terrorism at an unprecedented scale. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reportedly extended the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) by five years. In a notification issued on January 31, the Ministry has declared SIMI an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The ministry stated that if the unlawful activities of the SIMI are not controlled and curbed immediately, it would make use of such an opportunity to “continue its subversive activities and re-organise its activists who are still absconding; disrupt the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony; propagate anti-national sentiments; escalate secessionism by supporting militancy; and undertake activities prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country.”
In the said notification, the MHA listed 58 cases against SIMI members. It included some really serious and grave cases such as Gaya in 2017, M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore in 2014, and jailbreak in Bhopal in 2014. The MHA had earlier proposed a ban on the terror organisation after the same was sought by 15 states and Union Territories. SIMI was established on April 25, 1977, in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. The terror body works with the agenda of liberating India by converting it into an Islamic state. It was banned for the first time in 2001. After that, it has been banned several times. It was last banned by the UPA government on February 1, 2014 for a period of five years, i.e. till January 31, 2019. Modi government has immediately extended the ban on this organisation till January 2024.
It is not for the first time in the recent past that the Modi government has shown such strong resolve to fight and curb terrorism. It has yielded positive results too. Since 2005, there has been an average of 757 civilian deaths per year under UPA and 241 per year under the present government. The most striking fact is that in 4.5 years of this regime, there has been an average of only 4 civilian deaths in the rest of India when disturbed regions of Jammu & Kashmir, Red Corridor and Northeast are not considered. In nine years of the UPA regime, the number was an average of 101 per year. It was significantly higher at an average of about 203 deaths per year in the first four years of UPA-I when “Vastra Purush” Shivraj Patil was in office as Home Minister until the end of 2008 after the 26/11 attack when he finally had to resign for his apparent negligence and casual behavior during a series of blasts in Mumbai and then the 26/11 attacks.
The government has decided to remain firm against terrorism and the theory of respecting terrorists’ human rights has been outrightly rejected. In a step that displays the government’s policy of dealing with terrorists with an iron fist, the government decided last year to stop the handover of bodies of top Lashkar e Taiba, Jaish e Mujahideen and IS terrorists to their families. The government’s decision to stop this practice was a well-timed move considering the burial of these terrorists used to be carried out in a grand manner by the radical elements. It is because of such firm steps that the government has been able to eliminate terrorism to a large extent. Modi government deserves every bit of praise for its hard stance on terrorism.