How A SIMI Terrorist Was Arrested By Delhi Police After 22-Year Manhunt

The police were on the lookout for Shaikh since he was charged with sedition in 2001.

How A SIMI Terrorist Was Arrested By Delhi Police After 22-Year Manhunt

Hanif Shaikh was arrested from Bhusawal in Maharashtra

New Delhi:

The Delhi Police has arrested Hanif Shaikh, a member of the proscribed organisation SIMI, after 22 years of searches.

The police were on the lookout for Shaikh since cases were registered against him under the strict Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and he was charged with sedition in 2001.

Shaikh was the editor of the group's 'Islamic Movement' magazine's Urdu edition and in the last 25 years, has managed to radicalise several young Muslims through his teachings, the police said.


The police did not have much to start with, they only had the name "Hanif Hudai" published in the magazine "Islamic Movement" as the only clue. This made it difficult to identify him.

Shaikh was living in Maharashtra's Bhusawal and according to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of the Special Cell, Ankit Singh, he is a dreaded SIMI terrorist.

There are cases against him under the UAPA and for anti-national activities in Maharashtra.

He was actively involved in attending and organising SIMI's meetings in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, and Kerala and was declared a fugitive by a Delhi court in 2002.

The police team looking for him for the past four years received information that Shaikh changed his identity and was now going as Mohammad Hanif.

He was working as a teacher at an Urdu medium municipal school in Bhusawal.

Armed with this information, the police laid a trap on February 22 and caught him from Bhusawal.


Hanif Shaikh earned his diploma from Marul Jalgaon in 1997. He joined SIMI the same year and became an "Ansar (full-time worker)".

He became highly radicalized after coming in contact with SIMI workers. He began taking part in the group's weekly programmes and started radicalising young Muslims to join the organization.

Impressed by his enthusiasm, the then SIMI chief Sahid Badar made Shaikh the editor of the Urdu edition of 'Islamic Movement' in 2001.

As the magazine's editor, Shaikh wrote several inflammatory articles, wrongly, highlighting the atrocities committed against Muslims.

Soon, he was allotted a room at the SIMI Headquarters in Delhi's Zakir Nagar.

He had close relationships with Safdar Hussain Nagori, Abdus Shubhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, Noman Badar, Shahnaz Hussain, Saif Nachain, and Mohammad - all members of the group.

During a police raid in 2001, Hanif Shaikh managed to escape with a few others and went underground.

He kept changing his location to evade arrest and finally made his way to Bhusawal from Jalgaon.

He has admitted to visiting many places in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat to motivate people to join SIMI.

After the ban on SIMI, most of the active members became scattered. Some have independently continued their terrorist activities and have been involved in several blasts and other anti-national activities.

With time, senior members of "Wahdat-e-Islam" started new organisations. Most of the members of this organisation are from SIMI. The basic agenda is to unite young Muslims and propagate the doctrine of radical Islam.

Sheikh is one of the members of the Wahdat-e-Islam think tank and played an important role in Maharashtra and other neighbouring states.

He is involved in collecting money in the guise of donations to support and fund the agenda of SIMI and Wahdat-e-Islam.

He has five siblings - three brothers and two sisters, a wife, and three children.