58-year-old Abdullah Danish, a terrorist associated with the banned extremist organisation Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was arrested by Delhi Police on Sunday. Danish, a native of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, was currently living in Zakir Nagar, Delhi. As per the police, he was one of the senior-most member of the banned outfit and had been involved in radicalising Muslim youth since past 25 years.
As per reports, police believes he radicalised two Muslim youths who carried out serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad in 2008. According to DCP (special cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah, Danish had also been involved in radicalising youth and mobilising them against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which fast-tracks Indian citizenship for persecuted religious minorities from three neighbouring Islamic countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. He was also found using fake videos to falsely propagate that the Indian government is carrying out atrocities against Muslims.
Shortly after the 9/11 attack in New York, the Indian government had banned SIMI. Following the ban, the organisation had held a press conference in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. Many members were arrested. However, Abdullah Danish had managed to flee. A case was registered against him in 2001 at New Friends Colony police station in Delhi when SIMI was banned.
The Delhi Police, acting on specific input, laid a trap to arrest Danish at Zakir Nagar. Subsequently, he was arrested on Sunday night.
Radicalisation of Abdullah Danish
As per police, Danish’s parents were Hindus who had converted to Islam. Inclined towards Islam, he started reading Islamic literature in college. He then converted to Islam and joined Jamia-Tul-Falah madarsa in Azamgarh and learned the Quran and Urdu.
He did his MA in Arabic from Aligarh Muslim University in 1985 and started attending weekly programmes and radicalised youth to join. The then SIMI head, Ashraf Jafri, was impressed with Danish’s work and made him editor of SIMI’s Hindi magazine in 1988. He remained editor for four years.
According to the police, he wrote many provocative articles, falsely highlighting atrocities against Muslims in India. He was also given a room at SIMI headquarters in Delhi. After fleeing from Delhi, he went to Aligarh and then to Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.