Yasin Malik: Indian court sentences top Kashmir separatist to life in prison

Malik, leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), had pleaded guilty to the charges, but told the special court where his trial was held on Wednesday that he practiced non-violent politics in Kashmir after gave up arms in the 1990s.

Mainly Hindu India has been fighting armed militancy in Muslim-majority Kashmir, also claimed by neighboring Pakistan, for decades.

“It is high time it was recognized that terrorist financing is one of the most serious crimes and must be punished more severely,” special judge Parveen Singh told New Delhi court, announcing the imprisonment life of Malik under an illegal activities section. Prevention Act.

The court is appointed for cases brought by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which mainly deals with offenses deemed to undermine the sovereignty, security and integrity of India.

According to the Indian government, Malik had been “at the forefront of separatist activities and violence since 1988” in the Kashmir Valley. It says many Kashmiri Hindus had to flee because of violence committed against them by Malik’s group in 1989.

Malik, who was sentenced last week, had pleaded guilty to all 10 charges brought against him by the NIA, including waging or attempting to wage war on the government and helping raise funds to enable anyone to “commit a terrorist act”.

The court said Malik “did not want a trial and was therefore prepared to plead guilty”.

His wife Mushaal Hussein Mullick said the conviction was illegitimate.

“Verdict in minutes by an Indian kangaroo court,” she wrote on Twitter. “The iconic leader will never surrender.”

In Kashmir’s main city, Srinagar, police fired tear gas and pellets to disperse stone-throwing protesters outside Malik’s residence.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said it was a “black day” for India’s democracy and its judiciary.

“India can physically imprison Yasin Malik, but it can never imprison the idea of ​​freedom he symbolizes,” Sharif said on Twitter.

India declared JKLF an “unlawful association” in 2019, the year Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government split the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two federally controlled territories.

Kashmir’s political parties said Malik’s verdict was a setback for peace efforts.

“We fear this will further deepen uncertainties in the region and only fuel further alienation and separatist sentiments,” a group of parties that have in the past fought elections in Kashmir said in a statement.


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