Bill to be introduced in Parl soon
JAMMU, June 25: Following Union Cabinet’s nod to major amendments to the anti-terrorism bill yesterday, the Home Minister will shortly be introducing a bill in both Houses of Parliament, which would further help curb activities of terrorists and check spread of cyber terrorism.
Following declaration of Jamaat-e-Islami and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) of Yasin Malik as banned outfits, the Home Ministry now proposed to bring more terrorists, even if they are individuals and not affiliated to any outfit, under the ambit of ban to curb their all activities and take stringent action against them, sources told the Excelsior.
They said the amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Law were reportedly cleared by the Union Cabinet in its meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday and a bill to amend the law will soon be introduced in both Houses of Parliament for debate and approval.
Some of the amendments proposed in the Law included curbing activities through cyber terrorism by registering cases under various provisions of law.
“The amended Act will also give powers to the investigating agencies to carry out probe even if the terror act has been committed on foreign soil if Indian nationals or their interests are harmed through that particular incident of terrorism,” sources said.
However, the investigating agencies will be able to carry out investigations on the foreign soil with cooperation of that nation, they added.
The amendments would empower the investigating agencies to declare top militants from Jammu and Kashmir operating from Pakistan or Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) or even other foreign nations as banned terrorists.
Similarly in Jammu and Kashmir or any other State of the country, the militants affiliated to any outfit could be declared as banned, which will help the Government to impose travel ban and other restrictions on them including access to funds and all other amenities.
However, sources pointed out, that the bill approved by the Parliament will not be automatically applicable to Jammu and Kashmir and the Government will have to bring an Ordinance to implement it in the State in the absence of an Assembly.
They said amendments in the Anti-Terrorism Law named Unlawful Activities Prevention Act will not only help the Government to keep strict vigil and surveillance on the militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir but also in some other parts of the country where few activities of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have been reported especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Asserting that proposed amendments in Anti-Terrorism Law were “quite significant”, sources pointed out that they will also empower the National Investigating Agency to conduct searches in any State even without informing local police or the State police chief. This, they said, will help the Agency to maintain complete secrecy in the sensitive cases.
However, in Jammu and Kashmir, the Agency had to take help of Jammu and Kashmir Police to avoid any law and order problem by the local people, they pointed out.
Sources said the Central Government has made its intentions quite clear that it would go harsh against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and amendments proposed in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act were aimed at this direction. They added that some more stringent steps could also be taken to curb the terrorism in the Kashmir valley.
Asserting that cyber terrorism has also become a major threat in the Valley, sources said the Law was being strengthened through the amendment to curb this form of terrorism as it was instrumental in fanning the terror activities.