India on July 1 declared 9 individuals as designated terrorists for backing the Khalistani movement, according to a release by the Press Information Bureau of India.
In August last year, the Government of India invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 to accommodate designated terrorists. Prior to that only organizations could be declared as terrorist groups.
Last year in September, for the first time designated terrorists were assigned by India after the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Invocation. Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed Zaki-ur- Rehman Lakhvi, and Dawood Ibrahim were the country’s firsts to be assigned in the Fourth Schedule of the act.
The latest designation goes to nine Khalistani terrorists who all operate from foreign lands to incite nefarious terrorism activities in Punjab. They are:
Pakistan-based chief of terrorist organization Babbar Khalsa International- Wadhwa Singh Babbar and UK-based chief Paramjit Singh of the same organization.
Pakistan based chief of Khalistan Zindabad Force – Ranjit Singh; Germany-based key members – Bhupendra Singh Bhinda and Gurmeet Singh Bagga of the same organization.
Pakistan-based chief of International Sikh Youth Federation – Lakhbir Singh. Pakistan based chief of terrorist organization Khalistan Commando Force – Paramjit Singh. USA-based member of unlawful association Sikh for justice – Gurpatwant Singh Pannu. Canada-based chief of Khalistan Tiger Force – Hardeep Singh Najjar.
“These individuals are involved in various acts of terrorism from across the border and from foreign soil. They have been relentless in their nefarious effects of stabilizing the country by trying to revive militancy in Punjab through their anti-national activities and through their support and to involvement in the Khalistan movement,” a press release by the Government of India read.
Khalistan or ‘The Land of Khalsa’ is a Sikh separatist movement that seeks to establish a homeland for Sikhs in new territory in the Punjab region.