Two militants designated as terrorists under UAPA

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NEW DELHI, APR 20

The Centre on Tuesday designated Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) member Sheikh Sajad alias Sajjad Gul and Al Badr member Arjumand Gulzar Dar alias Hamza Burhan as terrorists for their involvement in a series of terror acts in Jammu and Kashmir.

While Dar has been involved in funding terrorism and other violence, Gul, who belongs to the LeT terror group, had taken part in the conspiracy to kill journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar in 2018. Gul and Dar are the 37th and 38th individuals respectively to have been designated as terrorists by the Union Home Ministry.

With these two, as many as eight individuals have been designated as terrorist by the Centre in the last fortnight.

The Union home ministry said Gul is absconding in a case pertaining to recovery of arms and ammunition in Jammu and Kashmir, and he has been actively radicalising, motivating and recruiting youngsters in the Union Territory to support the LeT.

He has also been involved in terror funding, it said. Gul was found involved in hatching a criminal conspiracy, in connivance with other members of the LeT, to eliminate Bukhari, a prominent journalist, along with two of his personal security officers, at the busy Press Enclave area of Srinagar on June 14, 2018, the ministry said in a notification. Considering his terror activities, the home ministry designated Gul as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967).

Born on October 10, 1974, Gul hails from the Rose Avenue Colony HMT Shalteng in Srinagar, and is one of the commanders of the LeT. Dar, aged 23, and born in 1999, hails from Ratnipora, Pulwama, in Jammu and Kashmir.

He is a member of the terror outfit Al Badr and went to Pakistan on valid documents where he joined the group. Dar has been an active terrorist and commander of terrorist outfit Al Badr since then. He is currently operating from Pakistan.

The home ministry said Dar has been motivating youth to join the outfit and has been funding the terror activities of Al Badr, ever since he went to Pakistan. He has been found involved in cases of recovery of explosives from over ground workers in Pulwama, grenade attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on November 18, 2020, in Pulwama and motivating youths to join militant ranks of the Al Badr.

With the declaration of Gul and Dar as terrorists, the law-enforcement agencies can now attach their properties, besides booking any person associated with them. On April 8, the government had designated Hafiz Talha Saeed, a key leader of the LeT and the son of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, as a terrorist.

Three days later, on April 11, Pakistani national Mohiuddin Aurangzeb Alamgir, who was involved in a terror attack on a CRPF bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in 2019, was designated a terrorist.

On April 12, Ali Kashif Jan, the Pakistani handler of the terrorists involved in the 2016 attack on the Pathankot airbase, was designated as a terrorist by the Centre.

On April 13, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, who was involved in a series of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and was one of the terrorists released by India in exchange for hostages in the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in 1999, was declared as a designated terrorist.

On April 18, Ashiq Ahmed Nengroo, a commander of banned outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), was designated as a terrorist.

The LeT has been responsible for a series of deadly attacks in India, mostly in Jammu and Kashmir, in which scores of civilians and security personnel have been killed over the years. LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and the group’s “operational commander”, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, besides JeM founder Maulana Masood Azhar, who was also released by the government in exchange for the passengers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 from Afghanistan’s Kandahar, are some of the most wanted terrorists in India.

India has been consistently seeking the custody of all three, but Pakistan has refused to comply. Similarly, Al Badr has also been involved in series of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

The LeT, the JeM and Al Badr are listed as terrorist organisations under the First Schedule of the UAPA. The UAPA has been enacted to provide for more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of associations and individuals, dealing with terrorist activities and matters connected therewith.

The Act empowers the Centre to notify the name of an individual in its Fourth Schedule if it believes that he is involved in terrorism.

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