India has issued a new set of anti-terrorism laws aimed at protecting citizens from the growing threat of terrorism.
The laws, which were passed in a rare parliamentary session in December, include provisions that criminalise the financing of terrorism and impose tougher punishments for those who commit it.
The changes are part of the government’s drive to combat violent extremism.
The new law allows for an indefinite detention for people suspected of committing terrorism and the imposition of stiff fines.
But there is also an increased power to revoke passports and restrict travel, including for those involved in violent extremist activities.
While the new laws aim to address the growing risk of terrorism, they are unlikely to have much effect if, as many experts believe, many people remain in their homes and offices, according to the government.
The law will not be enforced on Indian citizens who travel abroad, although they will face restrictions on their ability to communicate with their families and close friends.
But the changes have sparked widespread criticism, including from civil society groups.
Some fear that the measures will enable Indian authorities to continue targeting foreign nationals and activists abroad.
Others say that the new measures will allow for the repression of Indian citizens and their supporters, including by clamping down on online activities.
The Indian government has made a number of arrests, including of suspected supporters of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned militant group based in Pakistan, who were arrested last month in connection with an attack on a train station in the Indian city of Ahmedabad.
The Lashkar’s founder, Maulana Azharuddin, is currently serving a life sentence in a British prison.
But his former associates in Pakistan have also been arrested, including the group’s leader, Hafiz Saeed, who is facing trial for his role in the attack.