LAHORE - The Punjab government, on the recommendations of the police establishment, and other relevant organisations, has added 83 persons to the 4th schedule under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997, The Nation learnt on Friday.
The home department has issued a notification in this regard. A Punjab government officer, on the condition of anonymity, said the persons charged with terror activities and delivering hate speeches had been placed under Section IV (Schedule IV) of ATA. The majority of the persons, the official held, belonged to district Bhakkar.
The current lot was added to the existing watch list of 1,491 persons, raising it to 1,574. Some 300 people were subtracted from the fourth schedule earlier on the orders of the courts, he added. On the orders of courts, the home department had to delete the names of those against whom more sufficient evidence was not found or they were acquitted in such cases. The department has to issue notification in this regard as well. Such outlaws are placed in the list for a period of three years usually, it was also learnt.
The sources further said as per the police information furnished to the provincial administration, the law-enforcing agency had feared that the persons added to the schedule-4 might have links with the banned outfit and could help escalate terrorist activities in the province.
Those whose names are placed on the terror watch list without any concrete reasons have to be released on the fresh recommendations of police or other relevant organisations or on the orders of courts, they said. Otherwise, they were not allowed to move beyond the limits of local areas without getting permission from the police. After their release from jails, such individuals are also supposed to give surety bonds to the police for good behaviour in future. A senior officer of the Punjab government privy to the development confirmed that such list was issued, but he refused to tell the names of those added to the 4th schedule of ATA. However, he said that after the watch list was issued, the provincial government might launch a full-scale operation against the organisations which gave rise to sectarianism and to which the individuals belonged. He said under the given circumstances the duty of ulema and people to cooperate with the authorities increased in the interest of the masses. It was duty of every citizen and religious scholar to have an eye on the banned outfits falling in schedule-4 to counter lawlessness in the society.