Sunday, Oct 02, 2022
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Terror Module

With homebase UP dicey, Maharashtra is its playground

Terror Module Atul Loke

This is one ‘ideology’ that obeys neither a regional logic like the Northeast groups nor one built strictly around class deprivation like the Naxals: it is, rather, a feeling of persecution dispersed around India’s vast swathes that finds expression in minority extremism. In the wake of belligerent Hindutva, the last decade has seen disillusioned Muslim youths troop to groups that increasingly swore by radical means—especially the Students Islamic Movement of India, formed in Aligarh by Mohd Ahmadullah Siddiqi in 1977, or to take a distant variant, the pdp of Abdul Nasser Madani in Kerala and TN, which was accused in the Coimbatore blasts.

Banned in 2001 under POTA, SIMI’s strongest presence seems to be in Maharashtra, signalling a shift from homebase UP. The series of commuter blasts in Mumbai since last December shows the extent of its sway in the state. A network of its operatives, reportedly acting in tandem with the Lashkar-e-Toiba, was linked to the blasts on a Ghatkopar bus on December 2, 2002, and in a train at Mulund station in March that claimed 11 lives.

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