Delhi police arrest an elusive member of banned terror group

New Delhi, Feb 25 (UNI) Delhi Police on Sunday said that it has arrested an elusive member of the banned organization Student’s Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) after 22 years.

The arrested accused, Hanif Sheikh, was involved and declared a proclaimed offender in unlawful activities and sedition cases, the police said.

“Hanif has been absconding for more than 22 years in a case of sedition and unlawful activities registered in the year 2001 at PS New Friends Colony in Delhi.

He was also declared a proclaimed offender in said case in the year 2002 by the trial court,” the police said.

He was involved in other anti-national activities in Maharashtra.

As a member of SIMI, Hanif Sheikh has been continuously propagating hardcore Islamic ideology and luring gullible Muslim youths to join SIMI by radicalizing and brainwashing them,” the police said.

A team of the Southern Range Special Cell collected information from different parts of the country and worked consistently to identify the hideouts of the most wanted Hanif Sheikh.

During the entire operation, they worked consistently, travelled extensively across different states, and made sincere efforts to identify the hideouts of the most wanted Hanif Sheikh.

The team deployed their informers and sources in those areas and worked day in and day out to develop the information received with the help of informers.

The police checked the presence of his associates and made efforts to track them. They further received information that the accused Hanif Sheikh had changed his identity to Mohd. Hanif and is now working as a teacher in an Urdu School in Bhusawal, Maharashtra.

“A team was stationed there, and after painstaking efforts, they zeroed in on him. Based on this information, a raiding party was formed, and a trap was laid near Asha Tower, Khadka Road, Bhusawal, Maharashtra. At about 02:50 PM on 22.02.2024, one suspicious person coming from Mohammad Nagar to Khadka Road was identified as Hanif Sheikh,” the police said.

Hanif joined the SIMI organization in 1997 and became ‘ANSAR’ (full-time worker). He became highly radicalized after coming in contact with SIMI activists. After joining the SIMI organization, Hanif Sheikh started attending weekly programs of SIMI and also started radicalizing Muslim youths to join the outfit. Impressed by his strong zeal, Sahid Badar, then President of SIMI, made Hanif Sheikh Editor of the Urdu edition of SIMI magazine ‘Islamic Movement’ in the year 2001. He had written many provoking articles in the said magazine by falsely highlighting atrocities on Muslims in India.

Accused Hanif Sheikh is also one of the think tank members of Wahadat-e-Islam and is playing an important role in Maharashtra and other adjoining states.

He is also involved in collecting money in the garb of donations for supporting and financing the agenda of the banned organization SIMI as well as Wahadat-e-Islam, the police said.

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