This article is written by Pubali Chatterjee and Shyantika Khan, students of Amity University, Kolkata. In this article, they explain the evil of terrorism and the effects of terrorism on human rights of the people.


Terror has such a demeanour that it remains suspended like a sword but remains on the head of those who wish to rebel. The reference of UN general assembly 1984 must be taken into context because it tells the provisions describing terrorism. The increase of terrorism whether internationally or nationally has been a threat to the peace that the countries have tried to establish. The biggest challenge that has been inflicted to human beings is the threat of terrorism. To combat and deal with the threat of terrorism the countries have come up together worldwide to fight with their legislations. Peace and security are certain things which cannot be compromised at any level. They are two sides of the same coin and linked with each other. There is a need for peace more than that a need for tranquility in the society. To fulfil needs such as the inequalities of the society must be removed. Being the secular country India has widened its arms to accept any religion in its ambit but the fundamentals of it like the democracy, sovereignty gets disturbed when terrorism comes into context. The social fabric disrupts when coins remain unturned and terrorism cries become the context. 

The term terrorism has been derived from the French word terrorism which is of Latin origin of a verb Terre. The word means “to make tremble”. The UN panel describes Terrorism as “intended to cause death or serious body harm to civilians or non-combatants”. Section 3(1) of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities act which was in force from 1985-1995 doesn’t define the term terrorist but it defines the act of the terrorists and an enactment of PODA happened therein.

At the international level instruments of international system have been adopted for the prevention of terrorism. A decade has passed and there is a long experience that has been served through the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention but that was in force between the age of 1985-1995. PODA when enacted and when its reports were recorded it was worse than TADA. The very concept of rule of law seems to be affected with the effect of terrorism on the innocent civilians as they are violent tools. No norms have yet been decided for the collaboration of nation to act against the terrorists. ‘preemptive action’ is a doctrine that has been adopted by the united states as a mark of justification of the counter terrorism operations.

Terrorism has its own effect in human rights whether directly or indirectly. As terrorism becomes more widespread and systematic, it has emerged as a big threat to human rights throughout the globe. Terrorism has evolved from the 70’s thereto modern forms which is more organized, financially stable and coordinated, targeting thousands of civilians who are most times casualties’ in cases of kidnappings, murder and sexual abuse; which may be a grave violation of human rights. However, despite its real threat to human rights directly, the ways during which it’s treated by some states and their agencies is critical in ensuring the success of the efforts directed towards anti-terrorism measures.
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Evolution of Terrorism

Using terror as means that of horrifying the broader audience and coercing them to a personal behavior could be a century previous follow that originates from the age of the Roman Empire. The Romans used complete race murder and crucify to scare the general public into submission to state policies. However, such terror practices have evolved into the fashionable practices like those allotted by Reich and communism or totalitarian regimes, though, over the time, non-state perpetrators have learned to use violence to frighten and pressure their enemies to their course. the primary efforts to fight act of terrorism internationally began within the 1970’s, transferring along completely different countries to agitate associate inflated case of heavier-than-air craft hijackings and surety taking crisis. This marked the discussion on the cross-border of act of terrorism, that but sweet-faced a pointy division between the us and land confrontation with opposing ideologies on act of terrorism.

Terrorism has evolved from once a retardant restricted to native areas and a few nations; thereby considerably gained world face and a lot of strength within the last decade when 9/11 attacks happened. The tragic events of the 9/11 attacks well-tried that act of terrorism isn’t a retardant restricted to any country or a part of the planet, however was fast to changing into a world threat. fashionable act of terrorism has become bloodier, developed capable resources and organizations to mount world campaigns by exploiting new communications and methods. fashionable act of terrorism has become a lot of homicidal as a result of the magnitude of terrorist acts and also the victims concerned have continued to rise. Increasing number of terrorists nowadays has additionally inflated quite a decade alone, hence there is a lot of reason for concern. This concern has united the planet within the fight against act of terrorism, with fewer variations between the historically Muslim countries that were related to supporting and changing into a part of the international efforts to eliminate terrorism

Terror Attacks (2014-19)

December 28th ,2014

Locaton: Bangalore, India

The perpetrator of this case is Indian Mujahideen. In the Church Street, near the Coconut Grove restaurant, a bomb was placed inside a flower that suddenly exploded and lead to spot death of a women.

November 13th, 2015

Location: Paris, France

A series of attack bespattered the place. The first attack happened in a restaurant and bar.

January 3-7, 2015

Location: Baga, Nigeria

The Baga massacre was a result of Boko Haram’s open shooting on Nigerian villages and about 2000 people suffered fatal injuries.

October 10th, 2016

Location: Ankara turkey

Two suicide bombers they blew themselves in front of the central station where there was a rally happening. Terrorism attack killed 109 people who were brutally snatched from their families and 508 were injured keeping a blow to the Turkey government.

January 11th, 2016

Location: Sharaban, Iraq

Bomb blasts happened in a tea shop and then in a mosque killing 100 people in the township.

July 3rd, 2016

Location: Baghdad, Iraq

346 people were killed and 246 injured in the incident. It was caused by the bombing that happened in a car.

April 21st, 2017

Location: Baikh Province, Afghanistan 

It was the attack by the Taliban to the military base camp and around 256 people died due to attack.

July 15th, 2018

Location: Syria

This is a terrorist attack of hostage taking and bombing which was done by Islamic State. It not only killed and injured common people but also lead to the death of 63 terrorist due to suicide bombers.

April 21st, 2019

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

It is also known as Sri Lanka Easter Bombing incident. On 21st April, three churches and three hotels were bombed killing around 260 people. Islamic extremist was suspected to be perpetrators of the crime.

February 14th, 2019

Location: Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, India

The security forces of India witnessed one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Pulwama as an explosive-laden SUV was been driven by the terrorist Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Terrorism Violating Human Rights

Terrorism has hugely affected different parts of the world and thus results in bringing out a lot of violence and fear in the society. It not only creates a tension among public but also infringes upon their basic human rights. Terrorism targets immensely at the two pillars of a society- the very essence of democracy and rule of law. Terrorism stands as a menace directly for the economy because it massively destroys the manufacturing units and factories and brings down the present financial markets. Indirectly, it imperils the peace and security of a nation which affects our fundamental rights. Terrorism has indirect effects on a country’s economy because it ends up into xenophobia and tourism losses. The acts performed by terrorist shakes up the civil society and creates a havoc socio-economic disruption. There exists a linkage between “transnational-crimes” and terrorism. Not only internal State security but also territorial integrity is at stake due to the terrorist activities.  At a conference held by United Nations, India put forward the matter relating to terrorism and its gross violation on human rights and asked the world to lend its helping hand to come out of the crisis. 

Terrorism endangers the right to life provided under different international laws, treaties and personal laws- the fundamental right which is guaranteed to us from birth. ICCPR states that right to life is supreme. Article 3 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights suggest the ‘right to life’. In Article 2 of Human Rights Act, right to life as an important right is mentioned thereof. As mentioned therein, different law establishes right to life but terrorism is an obstruction to it. Terrorism not only affects domestic laws but also international humanitarian and criminal laws.
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United Nations Counter-Terrorism Approaches

A committee was formed by Security Council and it was adopted after the certain terrorist attacks in United States. It adopted a few counter-terrorism approaches thereof. UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force was also established to bring up report and support in smooth functioning and counter-terrorism. Four block system is adopted by UN CTITF which states that the first block will aware about the ways and possibility leading to terrorism. The second and third block talks about combating terrorist activities and allowing well equipped states to fight terrorism respectively. The fourth part of it is based on the law enforcement ahe human rights protection.

Legislation Relating to Terror Activities

A number of legislations have been adopted across the world to combat terrorism activities. Some of the legislations are mentioned below:

Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act, 2001

United Kingdom enacted the Act in 2001 to confirm that no further breach of peace and security is faced by the States due to terrorism and make out asylum provisions and several other additions to the act. Part-I of the act basically focuses on seizing of the terrorist organisation’s finances and properties.

Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002

India passed the act with the aim to lessen the terrorism attack that happened in the past.  This act replaced the TADA Act and one of the important changes in its provision was that though in Indian Courts a person who made confession is inadmissible but POTA Act,2002 made it admissible and let the legal authorities to keep the accused identity as secret. 

Terrorism Suppression Act, 2002

A counter-terrorism legislation was adopted by New Zealand in 2002 to look into the national and international terrorist attacks and related issues thereof. Though the act was not into use until 2019 but terrorist entities were figured out and in the year 2019 when the Mosque attack took place, a charge sheet was thus formed under Section 6A of the act.

Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act, 1989

A piece of United States legislation focused on proper implementation of “biological weapons convention” and providing punishments for violating mentioned laws. After the amendment of BWAT Act in 1996, it had been used a number of times in US to combat terrorism activities. The act held that if a person who knows that producing, acquiring or stockpiling biological agent or toxin assist any foreign state would be awarded life imprisonment, fine or both of them. The act stated that if such biological weapons are of no good purpose, it could be immediately seized from the person or the organisation.

Case Report: Mumbai Terror Attacks (26/11/2008)

An attack that shook the whole nation on 26/11/2008 at the heart of the financial capital, Mumbai is still alive in our memory. A series of attack was being carried out at different places in Mumbai. An extremist Islamic terrorist organisation carried out a terrorist shooting activity killing a lot of people. It was found that it was ten-member team which carried out the shooting. Around 300 people were injured and 9 attackers were killed in the process. Ajmal Kasab was the lone survivor of the pack.

The case went for a hearing and after all the legal remedies were exhausted for Ajmal Kasab, the operative person behind the attack, a mercy petition was filed which was then rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee and finally was hanged to death in Pune on 21.11.2012.


Terrorism has its widespread nets in the core of disrupted system. It has an inverse relationship established with human rights. It could be said that if a state suspects any organisation or individual to be terrorist, the human rights must be curtailed in a manner that he must be immediately detained for the sake of the nation. Physical integrity must be preserved in order to reduce such attack because when extrajudicial killings or political imprisonment takes place, a gross violation of human rights is seen and thus it in some way promotes terrorism. State repression and collective grievances are reflected in the propagandas of terrorist organisations. Therefore, breaking human rights could in no way save from terrorism. Human rights abuse could also lead to terrorism because terrorist has their fundamental support from their group and logistic system. But if the government provides immense support to protect human rights, it could reduce human rights. Anti-terrorism measures which don’t adhere to the elemental human rights undermines the efforts in developing effective and practical approaches in countering terrorism.

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