New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs Tuesday designated 18 individuals, among them the Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, D company’s financier Chhota Shakeel and founder of the Indian Mujahideen, Riyaz Bhatkal, as terrorists under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2019.
The central government had in August last year amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, to include the provision of designating individuals as terrorists. Prior to this amendment, only organisations could be designated as terrorist bodies.
Since the new law came into force, the home affairs ministry (MHA) had in September 2019 designated four individuals as terrorists, including the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, and the alleged mastermind behind the Pulwama attack, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. Nine individuals were also added to the list in July this year.
According to an MHA official, designating terrorists is a practice followed across the world including in the US, France, Germany, the UK, China, Israel, Pakistan and even Sri Lanka and will empower India to fight terrorism more effectively.
The official added that designating an individual as a terrorist is a required move as it will directly target the individual who is spreading the idea of terrorism and not just the organisation, which is often reorganised under a new name once it is banned.
“These individuals are involved in various acts of terrorism from across the border and have been relentless in their nefarious efforts of destabilizing the country,” an MHA statement said on the 18 names added to the list.
These are the 18 individuals now designated as terrorists:
Sajid Mir: Pakistan-based top LeT commander, Mir was allegedly one of the main conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
Yusuf Muzammil: Pakistan-based LeT commander of operations in Jammu & Kashmir, Muzammil is also accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
Abdur Rehman Makki: Brother-in-law of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, Makki serves as the head of the organisation’s political affairs and foreign relations departments.
Shahid Mehmood: He is the Pakistan-based deputy chief of the proscribed organisation Falah-i-lnsaniyat Foundation (FIF), believed to be a front for the LeT.
Farhatullah Ghori: Pakistan-based terrorist allegedly involved in the Akshardham Temple attack of 2002 and suicide attack on a police task force office in Hyderabad in 2005.
Abdul Rauf Asghar: Pakistan-based terrorist allegedly involved in the setting up of training camps for recruitment and militant training. Believed to be a key conspirator in the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001.
Ibrahim Athar: Pakistan-based terrorist allegedly involved in the hijacking of the Indian Airlines Flight lC-814 on 24 December 1999, and also a key conspirator in the 2001 Parliament attack.
Yusuf Azhar: Pakistan-based terrorist, he also was allegedly involved in the hijacking of Flight lC-814.
Shahid Latif: Pakistan-based terrorist and JeM commander of the Sialkot sector, Latif is allegedly involved in launching JeM terrorists into India.
Syed Mohammad Yusuf Shah (alias Syed Salahuddin): Supreme commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen and United Jihad Council (UJC) chairman, Salahuddin is allegedly involved in raising funds and routing finances to India for furtherance of terrorist activities by Hizbul cadre.
Ghulam Nabi Khan: Pakistan-based deputy supreme commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Zaffar Hussain Bhat: Pakistan-based deputy chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen who also allegedly handles the organisation’s financial affairs.
Riyaz Ismail Shahbandri (alias Riyaz Bhatkal): Pakistan-based founder of the Indian Mujahideen allegedly involved in various terrorist acts in India, including blasts at the German Bakery in Pune (2010), Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru (2010), Jama Masjid (2010) and Mumbai (2011) among others.
Mohammad Iqbal (alias Iqbal Bhatkal): Brother of Riyaz, he is believed to be living with him in Pakistan. Allegedly involved in various terrorist acts, including the Jaipur serial blasts (2008), Delhi serial blasts (2008), serial blasts of Ahmedabad and Surat (2008) and the German Bakery case in Pune (2010).
Shaikh Shakeel (alias Chhota Shakeel): Pakistan-based associate of Dawood Ibrahim who allegedly looks after all criminal and underworld operations of D-Company.
Mohammad Anis Shaikh: Pakistan-based terrorist allegedly involved in the Bombay bomb blast case of 1993 and responsible for the supply of arms, ammunition and hand grenades.
Ibrahim Memon (alias Tiger Memon): Pakistan-based terrorist who allegedly hatched the plot of the 1993 Bombay bomb blast case.
Javed Chikna (alias Javed Dawood Tailor): Pakistan-based associate of Dawood Ibrahim who was allegedly involved in the 1993 Bombay bomb blast case.