Court convicts Kashmiri terrorist Yasin Malik for life imprisonment in a terror funding case

Despite the NIA asking for the death penalty for Yasin Malik, the judge preferred to see the case as that of a terror funding one

Despite the NIA asking for the death penalty for Yasin Malik, the judge preferred to see the case as that of a terror funding one
Despite the NIA asking for the death penalty for Yasin Malik, the judge preferred to see the case as that of a terror funding one

Varying jail terms for other offences under UAPA levied on Yasin Malik

A Delhi Special court on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to Kashmiri terrorist Yasin Malik in a terror funding case. Special Judge Praveen Singh also awarded varying jail terms for various offenses under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The court also imposed a fine of over Rs.10 lakh on Malik.

The life term was awarded for two offenses — Section 121 (waging war against the Government of India) of IPC and Section 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act) of the UAPA. All the sentences will run concurrently. Earlier in the day National Investigation Agency (NIA) during the quantum of sentence demanded the death sentence for terrorist organization JKLF’s Chief Malik, narrating the entire crimes and terrorism he committed in Kashmir over the past three decades. “Let’s not go into all this. Stick to the facts. This is a terror funding case,” said Judge Singh, who delivered the judgment by 6:15 pm.

“These crimes were intended to strike at the heart of the idea of India and intended to forcefully secede Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India. The crime becomes more serious as it was committed with the assistance of foreign powers and designated terrorists. The seriousness of the crime is further increased by the fact that it was committed behind the smokescreen of an alleged peaceful political movement,” the judge said.

Special Judge Praveen Singh said the manner in which the crimes were committed was in the form of a conspiracy whereby there was an attempted insurrection by instigating, stone-pelting and arson, and very large-scale violence led to the shutting of the government machinery. “However, in my opinion, there was no reformation of this convict. It may be correct that the convict may have given up the gun in the year 1994, but he had never expressed any regret for the violence he had committed prior to the year 1994. It is noticed that, when he claimed to have given up the path of violence after the year 1994, the Government of India took it upon its face value and gave him an opportunity to reform and in good faith, tried to engage in a meaningful dialogue with him and as admitted by him, gave him every platform to express his opinion.

“However, as discussed in the order on the charge, the convict did not desist from violence. Rather, betraying the good intentions of the government he took a different path to orchestrate violence in the guise of political struggle. The convict claimed that he had followed the Gandhian principle of non-violence and was spearheading a peaceful non-violent struggle. However, the evidence on the basis of which charges were framed and to which the convict has pleaded guilty, speaks otherwise. The entire movement was a planned to be a violent movement and large-scale violence ensured is a matter fact,” said the judgment convicting Malik to life imprisonment.

Earlier in the morning Advocate, Akhand Pratap Singh (court-appointed amicus) sought minimum punishment (life imprisonment). Meanwhile, Yasin Malik on the sentence point said “I have already given my words in the court and now it is the court’s discretion.” The lawyer, who attended the court proceeding, said in the courtroom, “Yasin said that if I have been involved in any terrorist activity or violence in 28 years, if Indian Intelligence proves this, then I will also retire from politics. I will accept the hanging. I have worked with seven Prime Ministers.” On the demand by NIA for the death penalty to Malik, he said, “I will not beg for anything. The case is before this court and I leave it to the court to decide.”

The court had on May 19 convicted Malik, after he pleaded guilty to the terror funding charges and had directed the NIA authorities to assess his financial situation to determine the amount of fine likely to be imposed. Malik had on May 10 told the court that he was not contesting the charges leveled against him that included sections 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act), and 20 (being member of terrorist gang or organization) of the UAPA and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the IPC.

The court had, meanwhile, formally framed the charges against Kashmiri separatist leaders including Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, Md Yusuf Shah, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Md Akbar Khanday, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Abdul Rashid Sheikh, and Naval Kishore Kapoor. The charge sheet was also filed against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, who have been declared proclaimed offenders (PO) in the case.

“The case pertains to the conspiracy of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Amir of Jamaat-ud-Dawah, and the secessionist and separatist leaders, including the members/ cadres of the Hurriyat Conference, who acted in connivance with active militants of proscribed terrorist organizations viz Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba and others to raise, receive and collects funds domestically and from abroad through various illegal channels, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in J&K to cause disruption in the Kashmir valley by way of pelting stones on security forces, systematically burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India.

“The case was registered suo moto by NIA on 30.05.2017. A charge sheet was filed against 12 accused persons including two absconding accused persons namely Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of LeT, and Yusuf Shah@ Salahuddin, head of HM, both based in Pakistan on 18.01.2018. Subsequently, first, supplementary charge sheet was filed against one accused person on 22.01.2019 and second supplementary charge sheet was filed against 05 persons including convicted accused Yasin Malik on 04.10.2019,” said National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a statement reacting to the judgment convicting Yasin Malik.

Now Yasin Malik is facing trial in the killing of four Indian Air Force Officers and other cases of terrorism and killings.

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