Syed Salahuddin, the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen; Chhota Shakeel of the Dawood Ibrahim gang and Riyaz Bhatkal, who founded the banned Indian Mujahideen, are among the 18 people who have been designated as terrorists under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 2019, which allows individuals also to be called terrorists.
The Union home ministry released the list. It had designated Hafiz Saeed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief said to be behind the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008, and Masood Azhar, who heads Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and is believed to have masterminded the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, besides two others as terrorists in September 2019. In July, nine more people were included in the list.
“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,” a statement from the home ministry said about the latest names.
When the UAPA was enacted, only organisations could be termed as terrorists. But this allowed terror entities to change names and escape. This necessitated an amendment in Act in 2019, that allowed individuals also to be designated as terrorists.
The amendment will allow security and law enforcement agencies to deal directly with individuals and get to the source of terror, a home ministry official said.
The practice of designating individuals as terrorists is followed in many countries, including the US, France, Germany, the UK, China and Israel.
The 18 people designated as terrorists are:
Sajid Mir, commander of the LeT, a terror organisation based in Pakistan. Security agencies believe he was involved in planning the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Yusuf Muzammil, another LeT commander active in Jammu & Kashmir. He is also an accused in the Mumbai attack.
Syed Mohammad Yusuf Shah (Syed Salahuddin), of the Hizbul Mujahideen and United Jihad Council (UJC) chairman, who raises funds for terrorist activities against India.
Shaikh Shakeel (Chhota Shakeel), based in Pakistan who handles underworld operations of Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company.
Ibrahim Memon (Tiger Memon), based in Pakistan and said to be the mastermind of the 1993 Bombay blasts.
Javed Chikna (Javed Dawood Tailor), an aide of Dawood Ibrahim based in Pakistan and involved in the 1993 Bombay blasts.
Mohammad Anis Shaikh, a terrorist based in Pakistan and involved in the serial blasts in Bombay in 1993.
Riyaz Ismail Shahbandri (Riyaz Bhatkal), a terrorist based in Pakistan who helped found Indian Mujahideen. His hand is suspected in the bomb blasts at the German Bakery in Pune (2010) and Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Mohammad Iqbal (Iqbal Bhatkal), brother of Riyaz Bhatkal, said to be in Pakistan. He was involved in Jaipur serial blasts (2008), Delhi blasts (2008), Ahmedabad and Surat blasts (2008) and German Bakery blast in Pune (2010).
Shahid Mehmood, of the Falah-i-lnsaniyat Foundation (FIF), which acts as a front for LeT.
Abdul Rauf Asghar, a terrorist based in Pakistan involved in recruiting and training militants. He was among those who planned the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001.
Abdur Rehman Makki, who heads the political affairs and foreign relations wings of LeT and is the brother-in-law of its chief Hafiz Saeed
Ibrahim Athar: a terrorist based in Pakistan involved in the hijacking Indian Airlines Flight lC-814 on December 24, 1999. He was also behind the Parliament attack.
Yusuf Azhar, a Pakistan-based terrorist involved in lC-814 hijacking.
Shahid Latif: JeM commander in the Sialkot sector, who sends terrorists into India.
Farhatullah Ghori, a terrorist based in Pakistan who was behind the Akshardham Temple attack in 2002 and suicide attack on a police office in Hyderabad in 2005.
Ghulam Nabi Khan: deputy supreme commander of the Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen.
Zaffar Hussain Bhat: Deputy chief of Hizbul Mujahideen.