Sajjad Gul, who conspired to kill journalist Shujaat Bukhari, designated as a terrorist

Sheikh Sajad alias Sajjad Gul, a member of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who participated in the plot to kill journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar in 2018, was designated a terrorist by the Center on Tuesday.

Gul is the sixth individual to be designated as a terrorist by the Center in the past fortnight.

The Union Home Ministry said Gul was on the run in an arms and ammunition recovery case in Jammu and Kashmir and was actively radicalising, motivating and recruiting youths from the territory of the Union. Union to support the LeT. He was also involved in financing terrorism, the ministry said.

Gul was found involved in hatching a criminal plot, in collusion with other LeT members, to eliminate Bukhari, a prominent journalist, along with two of his personal security guards, in the bustling neighborhood of Press Enclave of Srinagar on June 14, 2018, the ministry said in a notification.

READ | Accused of Shujaat Bukhari murder once planned to carry out serial explosions in Delhi

In view of his terrorist activities, the Home Office designated Gul as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 (37 of 1967).

Born on October 10, 1974, Gul hails from Rose Avenue Colony HMT Shalteng in Srinagar and is one of the commanders of LeT.

He is the 37th individual to be declared a designated terrorist by the Centre.

“Now, therefore, in exercising the powers conferred by clause (a) of subsection (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, the Central Government shall by hereby presents the following amendment to the Fourth Schedule for the said Act, namely: – In the Fourth Schedule to the said Act, after the serial number 36 and the entries relating thereto, the following serial number and entries are inserted, namely: ’37. Sheikh Sajad @Sheikh Sajjad Gul @Sajjad Gul @Sajjad Ah Sheikh'”, reads the notification.

With Gul declared a terrorist, law enforcement can now seize his property, in addition to booking anyone associated with him.

On April 8, the government designated Hafiz Talha Saeed, a key LeT leader and son of the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, Hafiz Saeed, as a terrorist.

Three days later, on April 11, Pakistani national Mohiuddin Aurangzeb Alamgir, who was involved in a terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, was named as a terrorist.

READ | Plot to kill Shujaat Bukhari has hatched in Pakistan, J&K police say

On April 12, Ali Kashif Jan, the Pakistani handler of terrorists involved in the 2016 attack on Pathankot Air Base, was designated as a terrorist by the Center.

On April 13, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, implicated in a series of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and one of the terrorists released by India in exchange for hostages in the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in 1999, was declared a designated terrorist.

On April 18, Ashiq Ahmed Nengroo, a commander of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group, was designated as a terrorist.

The LeT has been responsible for a series of deadly attacks in India, mainly in Jammu and Kashmir, in which dozens of civilians and security personnel have been killed over the years.

LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and the group’s “operational commander” Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, as well as JeM founder Maulana Masood Azhar, who was also released by the government in exchange for passengers on Indian Airlines flight IC-814 from from Kandahar in Afghanistan, are among the most wanted terrorists in India.

India has consistently demanded custody of the three, but Pakistan has refused to comply.

The LeT and the JeM are listed as terrorist organizations in the first schedule of the UAPA.

The UAPA was enacted to ensure more effective prevention of certain illegal activities of associations and individuals, dealing with terrorist activities and related matters.

The law empowers the Center to notify an individual’s name in its Fourth Schedule if it believes they are involved in terrorism.

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