India’s move to designate Jaisdh-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and two others have been supported by the US as terrorists individually on Wednesday under a new anti-terror law.

Alice Wells, the Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, tweeted today that “We stand w/ #India & commend it for utilizing new legal authorities to designate 4 notorious terrorists: Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi & Dawood Ibrahim. This new law expands possibilities for joint #USIndia efforts to combat scourge of terrorism.” 

The government has also declared Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim in this regard. The Union Home Ministry made the announcement nearly a month after parliament approved an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment or UAPA Act, 1967.

The United Nations have designated all of the four terrorists as global terrorists in connection to terrorist attacks in India. In a notification, the Home Ministry said, “The central government believes that Maulana Masood Azhar is involved in terrorism and Maulana Masood Azhar is to be notified as a terrorist under the said Act.”

“The central government believes that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is involved in terrorism and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is to be notified as a terrorist under the said Act,” it added.

Masood Azhar was the mastermind for the Pulwama suicide terror attack in February killing 40 CRPF personnel while Hafiz Saeed was responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. 

By the revision of the UAPA Act aims to give power to the government to designate individuals as “terrorists”. The Act was passed in parliament last month. Before it, the law allowed only organizations, not individuals could be given the terrorism designation by India.

After the opposition claimed that the provision of the bill may violate individual liberty, Home MInister Amit Shah referring to that said, “Terrorism has no religion, terrorists are against humanity; all should support stringent laws against it.”

After the amendment of the new bill, the government can impose a travel ban on individuals who have been designated as “terrorists” and seize their properties. The designated terrorists can appeal to the Union Home Secretary and they will have to depose of the plea within 45 days. 

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