New Delhi: Hafiz Talha Saeed, the son of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, has been declared a terrorist by the government.
In a notification, the Union home ministry said that Hafiz Talha Saeed, 46, has been actively involved in recruitment, fund collection, and planning and executing attacks by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in India and Indian interests in Afghanistan.
He has also been actively visiting various LeT centres across Pakistan, and during his sermons propagating for jihad against India, Israel, the United States of America and Indian interests in other western countries, it stated.
“And whereas, the central government believes that Hafiz Talha Saeed is involved in terrorism and he should be notified as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967),” the notification said.
Hafiz Saeed was the brain behind the Mumbai terror attacks of November 26, 2008, in which 166 people were killed.
He had been declared a terrorist under the same law a few years ago and is currently serving a jail term in Pakistan on terror charges.
India has been consistently seeking Hafiz Saeed’s custody but Pakistan has refused to do so.
Apart from the 26/11 attacks, the LeT has been responsible for a series of deadly attacks in India, mostly in Jammu and Kashmir, in which scores of civilians and security personnel have been killed over the years.
Notably, the Central Government had amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in August 2019, to include the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist. Prior to this amendment, only organizations could be designated as terrorist organizations.
Following the amendment, the Ministry had designated nine individuals as designated terrorists under provisions of the UAPA Act in July 2020.
By invoking the said amended provision, in September 2019, the Central government-designated four individuals as terrorists, which included Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafeez Saeed, Zaki-ur-RehmanLakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim.
The nine individuals who were designated terrorists in July 2020 include Wadhawa Singh Babbar, Pakistan based Chief of “BabbarKhalsa International”, Lakhbir Singh, Pakistan based Chief of “International Sikh Youth Federation”, Ranjeet Singh, Pakistan based Chief of “Khalistan Zindabad Force”, Paramjit Singh, Pakistan based Chief of “Khalistan Commando Force”, Bhupinder Singh Bhinda, Germany based key member of “Khalistan Zindabad Force”, Gurmeet Singh Bagga, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Canada based Chief of “Khalistan Tiger Force”, and Paramjit Singh, United Kingdom-based Chief of “BabbarKhalsa International”.
Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court on Friday awarded a combined sentence of 33 years imprisonment to Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on Friday in two cases of terror financing registered by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).
Judge Ejaz Ahmad Buttar handed down the guilty verdict in two FIRs from 2019 under various sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997.
In one of the cases, the judge awarded five-year imprisonment each under sections 11-H (2), 11-I, 11-J(2), and 18 months in jail under section 11-F(2) of the ATA.
In the other case, the judge awarded a five-year sentence each under sections 11-N, 11-I, 11-J(2) and an 18-month jail term under section 11-F(6) of the ATA.
The judge imposed a collective fine of Rs340,000 on Hafiz Saeed in both cases.