Monday December 05, 2022

Sit-in, rally demand release of JKLF chief: India convicts Yasin Malik in terrorism case

Yasin Malik had been charged with “terrorist” acts, illegally raising funds, being a member of a terrorist organisation, criminal conspiracy and sedition

By News Desk
May 20, 2022
Yasin Malik. Photo: The News/File
Yasin Malik. Photo: The News/File

NEW DELHI: An Indian court has convicted a top Kashmiri Hurriyat leader in a 'terrorism-related' case that carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty or life imprisonment. 

Mohammed Yasin Malik had been charged with “terrorist” acts, illegally raising funds, being a member of a terrorist organisation, criminal conspiracy and sedition, reported foreign media.

Judge Praveen Singh set May 25 for hearing arguments from both sides on sentencing, the Press Trust of India news agency reported on Thursday. The judge also directed Malik to provide an affidavit regarding his financial assets. During the trial, Malik protested the charges and said he was a freedom fighter.

“Terrorism-related charges levelled against me are concocted, fabricated and politically motivated,” his organisation, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), cited him as telling the court. 

“If seeking Azadi (freedom) is a crime, then I am ready to accept this crime and its consequences,” he told the judge.

The JKLF was one of the first Hurriyat groups to come into existence in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). It supported an independent and united Kashmir.

Led by Malik, the group gave up armed struggle in the disputed region in 1994. The Indian government arrested Malik and banned the JKLF in 2019, also the year when New Delhi stripped IHK of its special status. An armed struggle broke out in IHK in 1989 with fighters demanding an independent Kashmir or its merger with Pakistan.

Syed Abbas Gardezi adds from Muzaffarabad: A sit-in followed by a rally was organized for the release of Kashmiri Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik under the aegis of the Pasban-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir here on Thursday. The sit-in was held in front of the Press Club where a large number of women, children, elders and youths were present. The anti-India protesters were holding placards and banners demanding the release of Yasin Malik and other Kashmiri prisoners. They waved black flags and chanted slogans for the independence of Kashmir, release of Yasin Malik and other Kashmiri prisoners.

Addressing the rally, speakers said they rejected all actions and decisions of biased Indian courts against Yasin Malik and other Kashmiri prisoners. Despite oppression in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, people had not given up their demand for the independence and right to self-determination. They said the Indian government's judicial terrorism against Kashmiri prisoners was the worst example of state terrorism. They called on the government of Pakistan to take concrete steps to resolve the Kashmir issue as a party. They said Pakistan's peace efforts should be conditional to a just solution to the Kashmir issue. They paid tribute to Kashmiris’ resistance movement, saying that the courage with which the people of Jammu and Kashmir were resisting against Indian atrocities was exemplary.

United Jihad Council Chairman Syed Salahuddin addressed the rally via telephone while AJK Legislative Assembly Opposition Leader Latif Akbar, Pasban-e-Hurriyat Chairman Uzair Ahmad Ghazali, Azam Ghazi, Abdul Shakur Azad, Shaukat Javed Mir, Usman Ali Hashim, Hamza Shaheen, Dr Muhammad Manzoor, Razzaq Khan, Azmat Hayat Kashmiri, Sardar Javed, Shafiq Inqalabi, Qari Shahbaz, Siddique Dawood, Nishad Butt and Tanzeer Iqbal addressed the rally.