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India declares Al Umar-Mujahideen founder Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar as a ‘terrorist’

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: India has notified Pakistan-based AlUmar-Mujahideen founder and chief commander Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, one of the released terrorists in the 1999 Indian Airlines Flight (IC-814) hijacking crisis in exchange for the hostages, as a ‘terrorist’.

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On December 31, 1999, India agreed to exchange three jailed terrorists including Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, for the safe return of 160 hostages on a hijacked Indian Airlines plane in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

As per sources, MHA made the announcement through a gazette notification mentioning that Mushtaq Zargar is a “threat to peace, not only to India but across the world, with his contacts and proximity to radical terrorist groups like the AlQaeda and Jaish-Mohammed”.

The Ministry designated Mushtaq Zargar as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The MHA, in its notification, pointed out that the AlUmar-Mujahideen founder had been affiliated with the ‘Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front’ terror outfit and had gone to Pakistan for obtaining illegal arms and ammunition training.

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Mushtaq also goes by the alias Latram, aged 52, and is a resident of Gani Mohalla in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar. According to the home ministry, he has been running an incessant campaign from Pakistan to fuel terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar was one of the released terrorists in the year 1999, Indian Airlines Flight hijacking crisis, in exchange of the hostages of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814. He has been involved in various terror crimes including murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, planning and execution of terrorist attacks and terror funding,” the notification reads, as quoted by sources.

MHA stated that “Zargar is a threat to peace” and mentions that his terrorist outfit Al-Umar-Mujahideen is also listed as a terrorist organisation under the First Schedule to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

“Therefore, in the exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Central Government hereby makes the following amendment in the Fourth Schedule to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967” MHA stated.

Zagar is believed to be one of the founding fathers of militancy in Kashmir.

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Notably, the MHA recently declared Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Mohiuddin Aurangzeb Alamgir, a key conspirator of the 2019 terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy at Pulwama; Ali Kashif Jan alias Jan Ali Kashif, the handler of Pathankot Air Force Station Terror Attack, and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Mohammad Saeed’s son Hafiz Talha Saeed as designated terrorists.

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