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India designates 18 terrorists based in Pakistan under anti-terror law

The government on Tuesday formally designated 18 individuals wanted in India for terror attacks as terrorists under a new clause of India’s anti-terror law. The 18 terrorists based in Pakistan include those involved in terrorist attacks in India including the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, IC 814 hijacking, Pathankot airbase attack and the Pulwama suicide bombing.

This is the third batch of terrorists designated under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 that was amended in August 2019 to include a provision for designating an individual – and not just a group – as a terrorist.

Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba co-founder Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim were the first to be designated last year under this law. In July, the Union home ministry had designated another nine individuals associated with the Khalistan separatist movement driven by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

A Union home ministry statement said the Modi government had reinforced the commitment to strengthen national security and its policy of zero tolerance to terrorism by issuing the fresh list of 18 designated terrorists.

Some of the names on the list include 26/11 mastermind Sajid Mir; Abdur Rehman Makki, the brother-in-law of Lashkar chief Saeed; Abdul Rauf Asghar, the brother of Jaish chief Masood Azhar; Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) chief Syed Salahuddin; Indian Mujahideen (IM) founder Riyaz Bhatkal and his brother Iqbal; Dawood Ibrahim’s right hand man Chhota Shakeel, as well as Tiger Memon and Javed Chikna.

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