A terrorist of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India who had been on the run for the last 19 years has been arrested, the Delhi Police said in a statement. The 58-year-old accused, Abdullah Danish, was “one of the most elusive members” of the terrorist group SIMI and was wanted for sedition in the national capital, said senior police officer of the special cell Pramod Singh Kushwah said in the statement.
“Abdullah Danish was one of the senior-most members of SIMI who indoctrinated many young Muslims in the last 25 years,” the police said in the statement. “He was chief editor of the Hindi version of SIMI magazine ‘Islamic Movement’ for four years,” the police said.
Abdullah Danish is a resident of Mau in Uttar Pradesh and also has a house in UP’s Aligarh, the police said. A trial court had declared him as most wanted in 2002 and the police had been looking for him since then.
Senior police officer Attar Singh of the special cell had been tracking Abdullah Danish’s movement in the National Capital Region and UP for the last one year, the police said. The SIMI terrorist worked to “radicalise Muslim youths to mobilize against NRC and CAA and propagating radical ideology to create disharmony among religious groups”, the police said in the statement, referring to the protests against the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Abdullah Danish allegedly circulated fake videos to show the government committing atrocities against Muslims, the police said. “After painstaking efforts of more than a year, specific information about Abdullah Danish was received on December 5. Based on this, a raiding party was formed and trap was laid near Zakir Nagar, Delhi where Abdullah Danish was arrested,” the police said in the statement.
The SIMI was set up in 1977 in Aligarh. It was banned by the government in 2001 for terror activities.
According to the police, Abdullah Danish did MA in Arabic studies from Aligarh Muslim University in 1985. “He became highly radicalised after coming in contact with SIMI activists. After joining SIMI, Abdullah Danish started attending weekly programmes of SIMI… Ashraf Jafri, then president of SIMI, made Abdullah Danish the editor of Hindi edition of SIMI magazine in 1988… He had written many incendiary articles by falsely highlighting atrocities against Muslims in India,” the police said.
During a raid at a SIMI hideout in south Delhi’s Zakir Nagar in 2001, Abdullah Danish managed to escape and went underground, the police said. “He kept changing his locations to evade arrest… Through Abdullah Danish, terrorist Abdus Subhan Qureshi was introduced to another terrorist Abu Bashar… Both planned and executed a series of blasts with the help of their other associates in Ahmedabad in 2008. Abu Bashar had visited and stayed in house of Abdullah Danish in Aligarh after the Ahmedabad blasts,” the police said in the statement.