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September 27, 2001
1810 IST

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Govt imposes nationwide ban on SIMI

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow

The Centre on Thursday imposed a nationwide ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India even as four persons were killed and two injured when police fired at mob in Lucknow that was protesting against the arrest of senior leaders of the party

"We have got an order from the Central government stating that they have banned SIMI all over India. We have arrested some of their leaders," Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary (Home) Naresh Dayal told rediff.com

SIMI was well-known for its communal overtones and there had been many proposals to ban the party.

Earlier, the police had arrested UP president of SIMI, Mohammed Humam, and two of his colleagues as a precautionary measure after pictures of Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the terrorist attacks on the United States, appeared in the communally sensitive areas of Kanpur and Bhairach.

Trouble erupted soon in the Old City area of Lucknow when a large crowd defied curfew orders to protest against the arrests. Three persons were killed and two injured in the resultant police firing.

Following the ban, the police picked up 67 SIMI activists from different parts of the state, including Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Allahabad, Varanasi, Bhadoi, Mau, Gonda, Kanpur, Faizabad and Mathura.

A high alert had been sounded all over India to prevent any untoward incidents at other places.

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