Hyderabad: With the Rajya Sabha passing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, which enables the government to designate individuals as terrorists (and not just organisations), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is finalising the initial list of “most wanted” persons who will be officially designated as terrorists.
The list is likely to include the names of individuals from Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh who are said to be involved in terror cases and Maoist activities.
It is still unclear whether the Centre intends to set up a tribunal for individuals designated as terrorists to contest the claim of the government.
Sources told Deccan Chronicle that while the names of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Mazood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba chief Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed, the head of Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, will top the list, there are several others from Jammu and Kashmir whose names will figure in it.
There are five individuals from Hyderabad who are accused of terror cases and are ‘most wanted’, and an equal number of Maoists.
Those wanted in terrorist cases from Hyderabad include Mohammed Farhatullah Ghori alias Abdul Sufiyan, a resident of Kurmaguda in Saidabad; Mohammed Bhai alias Abdul Bari alias Abu Hamza of Yakutpura; Furqan alias Abu Saad also from Yakutpura; Mohammed Abdul Majeed of Moosarambagh and Siddique Bin Usman of Talabkatta. All of them are said to be associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Harkat-Ul Jihad Al Islami (HUJI) and are wanted by the Karnataka and Telangana police for several years. Based in either the Gulf or in Pakistan, all of them are said to be involved in a conspiracy to kill Hindu leaders in Karnataka, for which weapons were procured in November 2012. Nine others were arrested in this case.
Among the Maoists, the most wanted are Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna who hails from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Gajarla Ravi from Warangal district; Jalumuri Srinu Babu of East Godavari district of AP and Madhavi of Warangal. They are said to be involved in a series of attacks across different states. “The NIA can seize or attach the properties belonging to these individuals within and outside the country,” an official from Delhi told this newspaper. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, the former president of the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi), Shahid Badr Falahi, said the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was brought in by the Congress in 1967 and the then leader of the opposition was Atal Behari Vajpayee against it, saying it would kill the meaning of the word freedom.
“Thereafter, Congress amended UAPA several times and even our organisation (Simi) was banned under this Act in 2001. But now that the NDA has amended it to enable it to designate individuals as terrorists, it is bound to be misused,” said Mr Falahi.
Former director-general of J&K police K. Rajendra welcomed the amendment. “Many organisations are banned but the individuals are opening new outfits with the same agenda. Designating an individual as a terrorist will be done based on hard evidence and (he) will be allowed to defend himself in the courts. The onus will be on the individual to defend himself and he will be given adequate opportunity,” he said.