A Delhi court on Wednesday sentenced Kashmiri separatist leader and a former militant Yasin Malik to imprisonment for life in a terror funding case. The sentence comes after the conclusion of hearing on the punishment. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had sought death penalty for Malik who was earlier convicted by the court on May 19.
The former militant, who advocates for the separation of Kashmir into a separate entity from Indian and Pakistan, had told the court on May 10 that he won’t be contesting the charges levelled against him, which included raising funds for terrorism, conspiracy to commit act of terrorism, sedition and criminal conspiracy among others.
Who is Yasin Malik?
As the chief of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Malik spearheaded armed militancy in the Kashmir Valley before renouncing violence in 1994. It is said that an alternation between some taxi drivers and army personnel that he witnessed in 1980 led him to choose his direction. Malik started an organisation called Tala Party which printed and distributed political materials.
In 1983, Malik was arrested and detained for 4 months. His group was involved in creating disruptions in multiple incidents. This includes disrupting a cricket match against the West Indies at the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium in Srinagar, gatherings of the National Conference and agitating against the execution of separatist leader Maqbool Bhat. He is believed to have become a member of the JKLF in the late 80s. He is said to have been to Pakistan to get arms training.
Malik was caught while injured in August 1990 and sent to prison till May 1994. Malik was arrested under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in October 1999 and was arrested again in March 2002 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Malik and JKLF started a movement in May 2007 named ‘Safar-i-Azadi’ or Journey of Freedom.
He married Mushaal Hussein Mullick, a Pakistani artist in 2009. He has a daughter who was born in 2012.
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Life imprisonment in terror funding case
The NIA named Malik and four others in a 2019 charge sheet of a terror funding case it had registered back in 2017 against separatist leaders. A search was conducted at Malik’s house in February 2019 resulting in seizure of several documents and electronic gadgets. He was arrested couple of months later in April.
Malik and six others were charged in March 2020 under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), the Arms Act 1959, and Ranbir Penal Code for a January 1990 terror attack. In the incident, 40 personnel of the Indian Air Force were attacked in Srinagar’s Rawalpora on January 25, 1990, resulting in four being martyred.
Last week, Malik was convicted by the NIA court and charged under 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 organisation) of the UAPA. He was also charged under IPC sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition).
As per the investigation report by the NIA, Malik has been involved in over 65 criminal cases, with most being that of murder, attempt to murder, rioting and sedition. He was also involved in kidnapping of Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya Sayeed in 1989.
READ | Yasin Malik gets life imprisonment, Rs 10 lakh penalty in terror funding case