New Delhi, 04 Sep, 2019: Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder (LeT) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim and 26/11 terror attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi were declared by India as individual terrorists. All the above four are among the first four individuals to be designated as "terrorists" under the new anti-terror law passed by Parliament in July.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a gazette notification declaring the four individuals as 'terrorists' under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The government’s decision comes a month after an amendment to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment (UAPA) Bill, 1967, which sought to designate an individual as a “terrorist”, was passed by the Parliament. The UAPA Bill seeks to empower the Central government to designate an individual a “terrorist” if they are found committing, preparing for, promoting, or involved in an act of terror. The aim behind the bill is to root out terrorism.
On August 2, the Rajya Sabha had passed the bill, paving the way for it to become law. A similar provision already exists in Part 4 and 6 of the legislation for organisations that can be designated as a “terrorist organisation”. Azhar, an already designated global terrorist under the UNSC, was also termed as one by the government today as he has been undertaking recruitment drives for terrorist activities and involved in organising events to promote terrorism and support their actions against India. Azhar has allegedly been involved in five major terror attacks in India which include the attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly complex in October 2001, Pathankot attack as well as the recent Pulwama terror attack in February 2019.