Ashiq Ahmed Nengroo, a commander of banned outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), was designated as a terrorist by the Centre on Monday for his involvement in various terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.
Nengroo is the fifth individual to have been designated as a terrorist by the Centre in the last fortnight.
In a notification, the Union home ministry said Nengroo has been involved in the infiltration of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir and has also been responsible for perpetrating various terror incidents in the Union Territory.
Nengroo (34) is running a terror syndicate in Kashmir and is now "engaged in a perilous campaign to orchestrate terror in Jammu and Kashmir", remote controlled from Pakistan, the ministry said.
In view of the danger that Nengroo poses to the security of India and in order to deter him from perpetrating terror acts, he has been designated as a terrorist under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the ministry said.
Nengroo, who was born on November 20, 1987, hails from Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.
His brother Abbass Ahmed Nengroo was an active terrorist of the JeM and was killed in 2013. In February 2020, after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) summoned Nengroo, he along with his family went missing.
Nengroo was involved in cases related to the killings of a police personnel in Pulwama in 2013 and a civilian in 2020. He has allegedly been funding terror acts and illegal supplies of weapons to terrorists.
The Centre believes that Ashiq Ahmed Nengroo alias Nengroo is involved in terrorism and is to be notified as a terrorist under the UAPA, the notification said.
With the declaration of Nengroo as a terrorist, the law-enforcement agencies can now attach his properties, besides booking any person associated with him.
Nengroo is the 36th individual to have been declared as a designated terrorist by the Centre.
"Now, therefore, in 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 said Act, namely:- In the Fourth Schedule to the said Act, after serial number 35 and entries relating thereto, the following serial number and entries shall be inserted, namely:- '36. Ashiq Ahmed Nengroo @Nengroo @Ashaq Hussain Nengroo @Ashaq Moulvi'," the notification said.
Nengroo was also instrumental in helping JeM chief Moulana Masood Azhar's nephew Idrees infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir via the Samba border. His activities clearly point towards his proximity with the JeM chief.
His effort to take his family along with him manifests that he has no plans of returning and his aim is to continue inflicting violence on the hapless civilians of Jammu and Kashmir to keep the terror-running factory up and running, an official said.
On April 8, the government had designated Hafiz Talha Saeed, a key leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the son of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, as a terrorist.
Three days later, on April 11, Pakistani national Mohiuddin Aurangzeb Alamgir, who was involved in a terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus in Pulwama in 2019, was designated as a terrorist.
On April 12, Ali Kashif Jan, the Pakistani handler of the terrorists involved in the 2016 attack on the Pathankot airbase, was designated as a terrorist by the Centre.
On April 13, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, who was involved in a series of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and was one of the released terrorists in the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in 1999, was declared as a designated terrorist.
The JeM 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.
JeM founder Azhar, who was released by India in exchange for the release of the passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines flight from Afghanistan's Kandahar in 1999, is one of the most wanted terrorists in India, along with LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and the LeT's "operational commander", Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
India has been consistently seeking Azhar's custody, but Pakistan has refused to comply.
The JeM is listed as a terrorist organisation under the First Schedule of the UAPA.
The UAPA has been enacted to provide for more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of associations and individuals, dealing with terrorist activities and matters connected therewith.
The Act empowers the Centre to notify the name of an individual in its Fourth Schedule if it believes that he is involved in terrorism.