Centre declares Pak-based BKI associate as ‘terrorist’, KTF and JKGF as ‘terrorist outfits’
New Delhi/IBNS: The Centre on Friday declared a Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) associate, currently based in Pakistan and involved in various terrorist activities, especially in Punjab, as a terrorist under the amended provision of the UAPA Act, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Friday.
Earlier, the government designated 53 individuals as terrorists by invoking the amended provision of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
“One more individual—Harwinder Singh Sandhu@Rinda has been declared as terrorist today. He has been associated with terrorist organisation Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and is presently based in Lahore, Pakistan under the patronage of cross-border agencies and has been found involved in various terrorist activities, particularly in Punjab,” the Home Ministry said in a statement.
The Central government amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in August 2019 to include the provision of designating an individual as terrorist. Prior to this amendment, only organisations could be designated as terrorist organisation.
With this declaration, now there are 54 designated terrorists in the IVth Schedule of UAPA, the ministry said.
The ministry said the government declared one more individual and two organisation as ‘Terrorist’/‘Terrorist organisation’ “to strengthen national security and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.
The two outfits declared as terrorist organisations under the provisions of the UAPA include Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and Jammu and Kashmir Ghaznavi Force (JKGF).
The Home Ministry said KTF is a militant outfit which aims to revive terrorism in Punjab and challenges the territorial integrity, unity, national security and sovereignty of India and promotes various acts of terrorism, including targeted killings in Punjab.
JKGF has been found involved in infiltration bids, narcotics and weapon smuggling and carrying out terror attacks in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, it said.
It draws its cadres from various terrorist organisations, such as Lashker-E-Taiba, Jaish-E-Mohammed, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul—Jehad-E-Islami etc, it added.
“With declaration of these two organisations as a terrorist organisation, there are now total 44 designated terrorist organisations under the Ist Schedule of the Act,” the statement said.