Nine men wanted in the country for their links to pro-Khalistan groups based abroad have been declared “designated terrorists” under the amended law on illegal activities (prevention) (UAPA), announced today today the Center. The decision includes Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, based in the United States, of a Sikhs’ outfit for justice, which prompted the young men to spread terrorism in Punjab.
Last year, the Center amended the strict law because it included the provision declaring individuals “designated terrorists” – previously, only uniforms could be designated as terrorists.
Besides Pannun, Paramjit Singh (Babbar Khalsa International), Hardeep Singh Nijjar (Khalistan Tiger Force), Gurmit Singh Bagga (Khalistan Zindabad Force), Wadhawa Singh Babbar (Babbar Khalsa International), Lakhbir Singh (International Federation of Sikh Youth), Ranjeet Singh (Khalistan Zindabad Force), Paramjit Singh (Khalistan Commando Force), Bhupinder Singh Bhinda (Khalistan Zindabad Force) were also designated as terrorists.
All are based abroad, the majority of them located in Pakistan. They have tried to rekindle terrorism and support pro-Khalistan sentiment, said a government official.
“Some of the names are also on the list handed over to Pakistan by former interior minister P Chidambaram, but Pakistan has taken no action against them. Now that they have been designated as individual terrorists, the government can seize their property, “said a senior official, said the Ministry of External Affairs.
These terrorists have been implicated in various acts of terrorism across the border and on foreign soil, he said.
“They have been relentless in their infamous efforts to destabilize the country, trying to revive militancy in Punjab through their anti-national activities and through their support and involvement in the (so-called) Khalistan Movement,” added he.
This is the second time that the government has invoked the amended law. Last year, the Center declared Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafeez Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim as designated terrorists.