After 22-Year Manhunt, Police Arrest SIMI Terrorist; Who Is Hanif Sheikh?

New Delhi: It took them very long, but terrorist Hanif Sheikh has finally been arrested by Delhi Police.

Hanif, a member of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), had been declared a proclaimed offender in 2002 and was evading authorities for nearly 22 years.

Police informed that Hanif was nabbed on February 22 from Bhusawal, in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district where he was working as teacher in an Urdu school under a different identity.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Alok Kumar claimed that Hanif was the most notorious and wanted SIMI terrorist as he played pivotal roles in various anti-national activities on behalf of SIMI across India.

Multiple cases were registered against Hanif under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and he was charged with sedition in 2001.

Hving earned his diploma from Marul Jalgaon in 1997, Hanif joined SIMI the same year and became an ‘Ansar’ (full-time worker).

He became very active, taking part in the group’s weekly programmes and convincing young Muslims to join the organisation.

So impressed was then-SIMI chief Sahid Badar, he made Hanif the editor of the Urdu edition of SIMI’s ‘Islamic Movement’ magazine in 2001.

He wrote a number of inflammatory articles in which he tried to highlight and draw attention to alleged atrocities committed against Muslims.

He played a key role in organising SIMI’s meetings in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka and Kerala.

He was involved in collecting money in the guise of donations to support and fund SIMI and Wahdat-e-Islam, before being declared a fugitive by a Delhi court in 2002.

Hanif has three brothers, two sisters, a wife and three children.

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