Indian court orders life in jail for Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik

Published May 25, 2022
Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik stopped by police as he tries to march during a protest against the killings of Kashmiri civilians in Srinagar, December 2018. — AFP/File
Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik stopped by police as he tries to march during a protest against the killings of Kashmiri civilians in Srinagar, December 2018. — AFP/File

An Indian court on Wednesday ordered life in jail for Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik for funding “terrorist” activities and other charges, a judge said, prompting street protests outside the politician's residence.

Malik, head of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), earlier told a special court designated for the National Investigation Agency that he had been following Gandhian principles and non-violent politics after giving up arms in the 1990s.

“Life imprisonment sentence to the convict, Yasin Malik,” Special Judge Parveen Singh said in the court in New Delhi.

Malik's wife Mushaal Hussein Mullick said the sentencing was illegitimate. “Verdict in minutes by Indian kangaroo court,” she wrote on Twitter. “The iconic leader will never surrender.”

In occupied Kashmir's main city of Srinagar, police fired tear gas and pellets to disperse stone-pelting protesters outside Malik's residence.

Malik was convicted on May 19 and was charged with 'terrorist acts', illegally raising funds, being a member of a 'terrorist' organisation and criminal conspiracy and sedition.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari strongly condemned the sentencing of the Kashmiri leader in a "sham trial".

PM Shehbaz called it a "black day" for the Indian justice system and said the life imprisonment for a valiant freedom fighter will provide fresh impetus to Kashmiris' right to self-determination.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Babar Iftikhar condemned the life sentence awarded to Malik on "fabricated charges".

"Such oppressive tactics cannot dampen the spirit of [the] people of Kashmir in their just struggle against illegal Indian occupation. We stand with them in quest for self-determination as per United Nations Security Council resolutions," he said.

The Senate had also passed a resolution urging the international community to force India to drop all fabricated charges against all political leaders of occupied Kashmir, including Malik, and ensure their safety and well-being.

The JKLF was one of the first armed freedom fighting groups to come into existence in occupied Kashmir. It supported an independent and united Kashmir. Led by Malik, the group gave up armed resistance in 1994.

A resistance movement broke out in occupied Kashmir in 1989 with fighters demanding an independent Kashmir or its merger with Pakistan. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training rebel groups to fight Indian forces, an allegation Pakistan vehemently opposes and denies. Islamabad says it provides only moral and diplomatic support to insurgents.

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s projections
Updated 18 Apr, 2024

IMF’s projections

The problems are well-known and the country is aware of what is needed to stabilise the economy; the challenge is follow-through and implementation.
Hepatitis crisis
18 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis crisis

THE sheer scale of the crisis is staggering. A new WHO report flags Pakistan as the country with the highest number...
Never-ending suffering
18 Apr, 2024

Never-ending suffering

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against...
Saudi FM’s visit
Updated 17 Apr, 2024

Saudi FM’s visit

The government of Shehbaz Sharif will have to manage a delicate balancing act with Pakistan’s traditional Saudi allies and its Iranian neighbours.
Dharna inquiry
17 Apr, 2024

Dharna inquiry

THE Supreme Court-sanctioned inquiry into the infamous Faizabad dharna of 2017 has turned out to be a damp squib. A...
Future energy
17 Apr, 2024

Future energy

PRIME MINISTER Shehbaz Sharif’s recent directive to the energy sector to curtail Pakistan’s staggering $27bn oil...