The Central Government on Tuesday took a major step to curb terrorism and especially the Pakistan backed terrorism in the country. In a first of its kind move, after passing of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill 2019 last month, the four dreaded terrorists Dawood Ibrahim, Hafiz Saeed, Zakir-ur-Rahman Lakhvi and Masood Azhar have been declared terrorists by the Union government under the new anti-terror law, all four terrorists have been on India’s hit-list for a long time and this step might help the government to close in on them. Home Ministry has already said that the ‘individual terrorist’ tag would help Indian agencies with the investigation, prosecution and trial of cases registered against the notified terrorists.
The Amendment Bill provides for empowerment of the central government to designate individuals as terrorists on similar grounds. This will be a crucial addition to the powers of the central government to crack down on terrorists, especially when earlier only groups or organisations could be declared as terrorists. The United States of America has also lauded and backed the move taken by the Modi government through UAPA with a tweet which stated that the new law expands possibilities for joint US-India efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism.
We stand w/ #India & commend it for utilizing new legal authorities to designate 4 notorious terrorists: Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi & Dawood Ibrahim. This new law expands possibilities for joint #USIndia efforts to combat scourge of terrorism. AGW
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) September 4, 2019
Dawood Ibrahim was the lynchpin of 1993 Mumbai-bomb blasts which killed 257 people and injured more than a thousand, he is also the head honcho of international underworld crime syndicate which perpetrates acts of terrorism and money-laundering across the globe.
Hafiz Saeed, the major thorn in India’s security and Intel agencies anti-terror activities has orchestrated various attacks including the Red Fort attack in 2000, India’s worst terror strike in Mumbai in 2008 in which 166 people were killed and the attack on a BSF convoy at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015. Saeed, also the founder of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), was designated as a global terrorist by the UN under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 on December 10, 2008.
Under the new UAPA law, Masood Azhar has finally been designated an individual terrorist in India. Masood Azhar is said to be involved in the attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly complex in 2001, attack on Parliament in 2001, attack on Pathankot airbase in 2016 attacks on BSF camp in Srinagar in 2017 and explosion of a CRPF bus at Pulwama on February 14.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Lakhvi was involved in various attacks including Red Fort attack in 2000, Rampur CRPF camp in 2008, Mumbai in 2008 and on a BSF convoy at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir.
India’s amendment of UAPA and designating the four terrorists rectifies an error on the part of India because it had asked the United Nations Security Council to designate them as global terrorists while it did not have provisions to designate individuals as terrorists. It was one of the reasons why the BJP batted for the amendment of UAPA bill in such a loud vociferous tone. The declaring of terrorists conforms to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards that require all member countries to ban those designated as global terrorists.
Opposition which had targeted this very UAPA bill on grounds like possible misuse by government and using it to target minorities, have been served a cold reminder that Prime Minister Modi led NDA is serious about the fight against terrorism and does not intend to squabble with the opposition which in recent times has been trying hard to make issues out of thin air.