Azhar, Saeed, Dawood declared terrorists under UAPA law
Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim, who are on India's most-wanted list, on Wednesday became the first individuals to be declared terrorists invoking the new amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act passed by Parliament recently.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Azhar figures as the first name in list in Fourth Schedule of UAPA followed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Saeed, LeT chief commander Lakhvi and underworld don Dawood. All of them have already been designated global terrorists by the United Nations earlier for their involvement in terrorist acts and have red corner notices issued against them by the Interpol.
Those named in the new list, officials said, have been holed up in Pakistan and enjoy the patronage of Pakistan and its spy agency ISI.
The naming of these four came a month after Parliament passed the amendments to the UAPA on August 2, which allows designation of individuals as terrorists. The opposition had raised concerns that the law could be misused to target individuals and courts could strike it down as it violates the liberty of an individual though the government insisted that enough precautions will be taken.
According to the gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), under Azhar's "patronage", the JeM "extensively undertakes recruitment drives for terrorist activities and his preaching wings regularly organise events" to urge people to "promote terrorism and support" anti-India actions.
Azhar, the brain behind the 2001 Parliament attack and Pulwama terror strike in February this year, is also accused of masterminding the terror attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in October 2001 as well as strikes on camps of Army and CRPF.
Saeed, who is wanted for the dastardly 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is also named for the Red Fort attack (December 2000) and 26/11 Mumbai attack along with Lakhvi, who is also one of LeT's founder members. Saeed is also being investigated by the National Investigation Agency, including in terror funding case.
Dawood, the notification said, runs an 'international underworld crime syndicate and is involved in perpetrating acts of terror, promoting religious fundamentalism, terror financing, arms smuggling, circulation of counterfeit currency, money laundering, narcotics, extortion and benami real estate business' in India and abroad. He is also 'involved in assassination attempts on prominent personalities to create social disharmony and terrorise common man'.
Pointing out to Dawood's links to the Islamic State, Taliban and al-Qaeda, the notification also referred to his listing by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant and Al-Qaeda Sanction Committee of United Nations Security Council.
The UN panel had listed him for participating in the "financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of, supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material or otherwise supporting acts or activities of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban".