Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 32, Dated Aug 16, 2008
Court’s stay is a
murder of justice’
Despite the setback, SIMI’s ex-president Shahid Badr
Falahi is confident the body will be legitimate again,Reports AJIT SAHI
What is your
reaction to the lifting of the ban on SIMI?
Our case has always been strong. The government used to create an external
situation that put pressure to get a favourable verdict. When the first
tribunal was about to give its report in 2002, Godhra happened and SIMI
was named. Obviously, the tribunal was influenced. When the second tribunal
was to give its report, Mulund and Ghatkopar blasts took place, then again
SIMI was named without any proof. And when the third tribunal was to give
its report, Mumbai train blasts of July 11, 2006, happened, and the verdict
went against us. Though if you read that tribunal’s report you will wonder
why the judge didn’t apply his mind. But this time, the government’s manipulations
fell flat. Earlier verdicts, too, would have favoured us had the circumstances
been different. This verdict absolutely matches our expectations. The
case against us was a castle of sand and we knew it would be blown away.
We are happy.
Why do you say the third tribunal’s
judge didn’t apply his mind in giving his
verdict in 2006?
If you read the judgement you will see that
the foundation of the judgement is that all
the things that have come into the picture
are false but it seems that Shahid Badr is not
telling the truth. The word the judge has
used is ‘evasive’. He said he ‘felt’ that I wasn’t
telling the truth. So the judgement was made
on the basis of ‘feelings’ and not evidence.
What do you have to say about the
Supreme Court’s stay on the judgement?
The stay from the Supreme Court is a murder
of justice. Three previous tribunals
ruled against us and we appealed against
those orders, but the Supreme Court didn’t
hear us. But now the Supreme Court intervened
immediately. If it had been so
prompt with our petitions, then our previous
bans would have been thrown out long ago. But we have not lost hope even after
seven years of being banned. And now we
have already got the notice of lifting of ban
for a few hours and even this time we won’t
Why is it that SIMI has been constantly
accused of being unlawful and seditious,
be it the BJP-led government or the Congress-
led? There must be some reason?
We have faced not one but a thousand allegations.
But we never backed out in the
legal proceedings and demolished every
argument and evidence against us to prove
that we are not guilty. If anyone takes out
the time to come to us and
read all the documents with
the allegations against us and
our responses to it, he will
wonder how on earth the
castles of sand became so
strong. We are not afraid of
any accusations. They
thought that if this group of
Muslims which is young and
educated can be crushed
then the entire community
will be weakened. RSS and its
sympathisers are present in all other parties
and they have always opposed us. But
we are not afraid of them.
Why do you think the Centre is
adamant to keep SIMI banned?
The BJP-led government had taken advantage
of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks
on the US and banned us in order to
raise their position with the US. Now,
everybody is trying to show their loyalty to
It is said that SIMI’s ideology does not
believe in the Indian Constitution, that
it is pan-Islamic, that it rejects India’s
These are only allegations. We have given
our detailed written explanations to the
courts. Please read them if you can. I
believe that in a land where everybody is
allowed to follow his religion and principles
and popularise those ideals, we also
want that all those who live on this planet
should live like Allah’s people, and live
their lives as per the teachings of Allah and
Prophet Mohammad. This is our desire.
But we do not use any force for this, because
Allah Himself has rejected force. But
is it wrong to make one’s ideologies public
and propagate it in a decent manner? No.
But SIMI is
accused of being a terrorist group. It is said it has links with Lashkar-e-Tayaba,
Jaish-e-Mohammed, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden...
[Laughs] These are false accusations against us and even though we have
proved our innocence time and again, it is disappointing that they keep
being repeated. Basically, because of the successive bans on us we are
blamed for everything. We have never been associated with any terror group.
We believe only in reaching our ideologies, thoughts and messages to the
people. We have opposed violence right from the start.
Quoting intelligence agencies,the
media has said SIMI has broken into two
factions: yours and Safdar Nagori’s.
I, too, have read this in the media. Had the
ban been lifted for some days I would have
called them and asked about it. Right now
there is a ban on travelling or phoning or
meeting anyone. Anyway, whatever is
being published in the newspapers is being
done at the behest of those who want to
prejudice the public mind against us.
What is your stand on the bomb blasts
by terror groups?
We have always maintained that murder of
even one innocent person is the murder of
entire humanity. We also opposed it when
we were functional and not banned. Once
I had held a press conference in Delhi after
the bomb blasts in Mumbai, denouncing
the terror acts. We opposed it and offered
sympathies to the relatives of the victims.
But that was used against us. It was said
that despite being banned we hold press
conferences and release statements. Even
the judge said that.
Do you think
SIMI can make a contribution in maintaining communal harmony in the country,
to ensure there is no divisiveness, and that India moves forward?
A great man like Gandhiji was killed by Nathuram Godse. Godse was a terrorist.
Working on the same ideology, RSS has always
Falahi says that the courts have been pressurised
played a key role
in disturbing the communal harmony. In spite of that RSS is not banned.
We believe that to maintain brotherhood and harmony in India, RSS should
be banned. BJP, RSS are people of the same family, they should be sent
to jail. How do you expect peace and harmony without sending them to jail?
Think about it. Modi is a big terrorist. Arun Jaitley, Advani, Vajpayee
are all terrorists. The entire State, the entire country is terrorised
by their activities. But in every way they get respect. When you allow
terrorists to sit on your head, how can you still hope to live in peace?
They kill people for their personal benefits, for their chair, for their
party. On the other hand, people like us, who are weak and subjugated,
who run a character-based organisation that hones ethics and morality
in young men so that they don’t ask for dowry, don’t smoke, don’t abuse,
stay away from films and merriment and fashion, are thrown into jails.
And the killers of humanity roam freely.
There are 80 crore Hindus in India. What
does SIMI think of them?
This is a very good question. Allah has set
some rules for his kingdom. They say that
you should call the people on the earth towards
the religion of god with service, advice,
in a decent way, with politeness, with
logic. All of us are sons and daughters of
Adam and Eve. We love all human beings
and want to save them all from the fires of
hell. We want them to live in a just world
and, after death, live peacefully in heaven.
The Thin Red Line
TARUN J TEJPAL
The Kafka Project
In a crucial investigation over three months, Editor-at-Large AJIT SAHI tracked the SIMI fictions across 11 cities
Inside The Whale: State Vs Shahid Badr Falahi
In case after case, the ex-president of SIMI has been the target of the law agencies’ absurd yet sinister charges, Reports AJIT SAHI
The Good Doctor's Complications
Absolved by several courts, a former SIMI office-bearer continues to face the stigma that bars him from home and job, Reports AJIT SAHI
They just want Muslim boys to always be in jail
Moutasim Billah has been a police scapegoat for seven years, even though they acknowledge they have nothing on him, Reports AJIT SAHI
A Doubtful Crime, And Years Of Unfair Punishment
Yasin Patel is the only SIMI activist to be convicted under POTA. His crime was nothing more serious than an offensive poster, Reports AJIT SAHI
The Cry Of The Beloved Country
Chilling stories of fathers and brothers swallowed by midnight arrests, as family members lack the resources for legal redr, Reports AJIT SAHI
The Haunt Of Our Past Lives
A leading Muslim outfit in Tamil Nadu is accused of killing Hindus. But the Centre’s lawyers can’t remember their own evidence, Reports AJIT SAHI
SIMI Here, SIMI There, SIMI Everywhere
This SIMI litigation is an omnibus case in which the 100 plus accused are now always at hand to be implicated in future cases, Reports AJIT SAHI
The History Appraiser Caught With His Books
Among Abdul Razik’s crimes: books, old issues of a SIMI magazine and a talk on Muslims in the freedom struggle, Reports AJIT SAHI
A Man Of God, Not A Man Of Terror
The Centre casually links a septuagenarian religious leader with SIMI — and then fails to sustain its reckless accusation against him, Reports AJIT SAHI
Dissent Or Don’t, You’re Damned Either Way
Since when did protest get you called a jehadi? Ask M. Elliyas, jailed under a ludicrous law, Reports AJIT SAHI
The Left Hand Doesn't Know, Or Doesn't It?
The bizarre case of Ziauddin Siddiqui, injured in a clash with police, given compensation — and then accused of rioting and sedition, Reports AJIT SAHI
The Case Of The Absconding Lawyer
Midway through the tribunal, a key SIMI lawyer is suddenly arrested in an old, forgotten case and released as arguments end, Reports AJIT SAHI
A Judge Stirs A Hornet's Nest
Mere opinions, a stunning abscence of facts and gross violations of law in the Centre’s case against SIMI are what moved tribunal judge Geeta Mittal to reject the ban, Reports AJIT SAHI
‘The Supreme Court’s stay is a murder of justice’
Despite the setback, SIMI’s ex-president Shahid Badr Falahi is confident the body will be legitimate again, Reports AJIT SAHI
Terror Has Two Faces
A shadowy, pan-Islamic seditious organisation or merely a conservative Islamist and politically conscious student group? Read and draw your own conclusions on SIMI, Reports AJIT SAHI