India declares nine people, including a Canadian, as terrorists in connection to militancy in Punjab

Wadhawa Singh Babbar, Lakhbir Singh, Ranjeet Singh, Paramjit Singh, Bhupinder Singh Bhinda, Gurmeet Singh Bagga, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Paramjit Singh and Gurpatwant Singh Pannu.

New Delhi (IANS): The Indian government on Wednesday declared nine individuals as designated terrorists for allegedly attempting to revive militancy in Punjab through their alleged anti-national activities and involvement in the Khalistan movement.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared these foreign-based individuals as designated terrorists under new provisions of Unlaful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for their involvement in various acts of terrorism from across the border, reinforcing its commitment to strengthening national security and the Modi government’s policy of zero tolerance of terrorism.

US-based key member of the Sikhs for Justice, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, UK-based chief of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), Paramjit Singh, and Canada-based alleged chief of Khalistan Tiger Force, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, are among the nine designated terrorists.

Others designated as terrorists are Germany-based key members of Khalistan Zindabad Force, Bhupinder Singh Bhinda and Gurmeet Singh Bagga, and Pakistan-based BKI terrorist group chief Wadhawa Singh Babbar, International Sikh Youth Federation chief Lakhbir Singh, Khalistan Zindabad Force chief Ranjeet Singh and Khalistan Commando Force chief Paramjit Singh.

The government designated these individuals as terrorists under the UAPA after it amended the stringent act in August 2019 to include the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist. Prior to this amendment, only organisations could be designated as terrorist organisations.

Invoking the amended provision in September last year, the Central government designated JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, LeT supremo Hafeez Saeed, 26/11 plotter Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and mafia don Dawood Ibrahim as terrorists.