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US decision may impact Salahuddin's movements, funding: Home Secretary


New Delhi, Jun 27: Emphasising that Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin was a "coward" who had "run away" to Pakistan, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Tuesday said the US government's decision to declare him a global terrorist would help in choking his movements and financing.

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi

"What the US did is correct. He (Salahuddin) is a terrorist and he has now been declared so. This declaration by the US may probably help in impacting his movements and funding," Mehrishi told reporters on the sidelines of an event of border guarding force ITBP.

The US yesterday categorised Salahuddin a specially designated global terrorist, a move welcomed by India which said it underlines quite strongly that both the countries face the threat of terrorism. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had said in Washington that the designation was "a strong signal coming out of the administration that it is committed to ending terror in all forms".

"We should take the step for what it is. It is fixing responsibility, highlighting the problem. There is a signalling out of it, it is focusing on a particular group and particular individual. None of us can really miss that message," he said.

The move by the US State Department came just hours before the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump at the White House. As a consequence of this designation, US citizens are prohibited from engaging in transactions with Salahuddin.

All of Salahuddin’s property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are also blocked. Earlier in the day, Mehrishi welcomed the expedition team of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police force that he said had successfully climbed Mount Dhaulagiri, an 8,167-metre peak located in Nepal.

It is also the seventh highest peak in the world. The home secretary had flagged off the team for the expedition on March 10 from here. He praised the "bravery" of two jawans, head constable Narender Singh and constable Biman Biswas, of the 25- member team for "bravely saving and rescuing" their sick colleague when they were close to the summit.

"However, the two jawans lost something of their own," Mehrishi said, referring to their injuries.

The two men suffered severe frost bite injuries and damage to their fingers while attempting to rescue their colleague Krishna P Gurung. This was the first expedition of the mountain-warfare trained force to Dhaulagiri. The force has conducted over 200 such successful missions since its raising in 1962. The ITBP, a paramilitary force under the Union Home Ministry, is tasked with guarding the 3,488-km Sino-Indian frontier and its border posts are located at altitudes ranging from 9,000-feet to 18,700-feet.


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