After 19 Years, Court Acquits 122 Accused of Being SIMI Members

A total of 127 people were arrested in this case, of which five reportedly died awaiting trial.

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Law
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A total of 127 people were arrested in this case, of which five reportedly died awaiting trial. Image used for representation.
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A court in Surat, Gujarat on Saturday, 6 March, acquitted 122 people arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), for being part of a meeting organised in 2001 as members of banned outfit Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

As per PTI, Chief Judicial Magistrate A N Dave, gave the 122 accused the benefit of doubt and thereby acquitted them.

A total of 127 people were arrested in this case, of which five had died while the trial was pending, reported PTI.

What Else Did the Court Say?

Acquitting the accused, the court said that the prosecution failed to produce “cogent, reliable, and satisfactory” evidence to establish its claim and observed that the accused cannot be held guilty under the UAPA.

The Case

The 127 were arrested on 28 December 2001, under various sections of the UAPA, for allegedly being members of SIMI, and organising a meeting at a hall in Sagrampura, in a bid to promote and expand the organisation’s activities.

The Central Government had on 27 September 2001, through a notification, banned SIMI.

The Defence

As per PTI, the accused, in their defence had said that they did not belong to SIMI and had only gathered in the hall to participate in a seminar organised under the banner of All India Minority Education Board.

They further informed that they had been in the city for religious and educational purposes, and to take part in the seminar in a peaceful manner.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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