Salahuddin, Hafiz Saeed’s kin among 18 ‘designated terrorists’ by MHA under UAPA

Chief of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin and founders of Indian Mujahideen outfit Bhatkal brothers are among the 18 people who have been designated as “terrorists” under the anti-terror law, an official spokesperson said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The hijackers of an Indian Airlines plane in 1999 — Abdul Rauf Asghar, Ibrahim Athar and Yusuf Azhar — have also been named in the list, prepared under provisions of the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Earlier, only outfits could be designated as such under the stringent law and not individuals. But the amended anti-terror Act, passed by Parliament in August 2019, introduced a provision to designate as “terrorists” individuals who commit or participate in acts of terrorism, prepare for them, or promote or encourage such acts.

By invoking the said amended provision, the Central Government had designated as “terrorists” four individuals in September, 2019 and nine individuals in July, 2020.

“Reinforcing the commitment of strengthening national security and its policy of zero tolerance to terrorism, the Modi government today has declared 18 more individuals as designated terrorists under the provisions of the UAPA,” the spokesperson said.

“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,” he said.

Among those named in the list of terrorists were Sajid Mir, Pakistan based top Lashker-e-Taiba commander who was one of the main planners of the 26/11 Mumbai attack; Yusuf Muzammil, an LeT commander and accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attack; Abdur Rehman Makki, brother-in-law of Lashker chief Hafiz Saeed, who heads political affairs and has served in the outfit’s foreign relations department.

The list names Riyaz Ismail Shahbandri alias Riyaz Bhatkal and his brother Mohammed Iqbal alias Iqbal Bhatkal, who formed Indian Mujahideen and were involved in various terrorist acts including attacks on German Bakery (2010), Chinnaswami Stadium, Bangalore (2010) , Jama Masjid (2010), Sheetlaghat (2010) and Mumbai (2011).

Four close aides of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim — who was designated a global terrorist by the UN — Shaikh Shakeel alias Chhota Shakeel, Mohammad Anis Shaikh, Ibrahim Memon alias Tiger Memon and Javed Chikna have been named in the list.

Besides being involved in 1993 serial blast in Mumbai, they are also accused of looking after all criminal and underworld operations of D-Company.

Pakistan-based deputy chief of proscribed organization Falah-i-lnsaniyat Foundation (FIF) — a frontal organisation of militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) — Shahid Mehmood alias Shahid Mehmood Rehmatullah, was also declared a “terrorist”.

Farhatullah Ghori alias Abu Sufiyan, a Pakistan-based militant who was involved in the attack on Akshardham Temple (2002) and the suicide attack on the Task Force office in Hyderabad (2005), also finds his name on the list.

The three kin of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar — Abdul Rauf Asghar, Ibrahim Athar and Yusuf Azhar — all wanted in connection with the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in 1999 have been designated as “terrorists”.

They are also on the Interpol Red Corner list.

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