Yasin Malik, Kashmiri Separatist Leader, Jailed For Life In Terror Funding Case

The NIA had sought death penalty for Malik, who had previously pleaded guilty to all the charges, including those under the stringent UAPA, in a terror funding case

Separatist leader Yasin Malik from Jammu and Kashmir being brought at Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: A special NIA court in Delhi on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik had previously pleaded guilty to all the charges, including those under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), in a terror funding case.

Pronouncing the verdict, Special NIA judge Parveen Singh said, “I will read out sentences under various offenses. Sec 120B IPC, 10 years (Imprisonment) with rupees 10,000 fine. Sec 121A IPC, 10 years (Imprisonment) with rupees 10,000 fine. 13 UAPA with 5 years imprisonment. 15 UAPA with 10 years (imprisonment). 17 UAPA life imprisonment with fine of rupees 10,00,000. 18 UAPA with 10 years imprisonment with rupees 10,000 fine. 20 UAPA 10 years imprisonment 10,000 fine. 38 and 39 UAPA with 5 years imprisonment and rupees 5,000 fine.”

Earlier, the National Investigation Agency sought death penalty for Malik, which was denied by the court. Reportedly, two life imprisonments were awarded to Malik, besides five 10 year imprisonments and monetary fine amounting over Rs 10 lakh.

Experts say while the NIA court has ordered two life imprisonments and held him guilty of other offences, the investigating agency can approach the High Court to challenge the special court’s order and demand a death sentence for Malik.

In an in-chamber proceedings, the NIA told Special Judge Praveen Singh that Malik was responsible for the Kashmiri exodus.

On his sentence, Malik reportedly submitted that he would not “beg” for mercy, and that court could decide at its discretion. The amicus curiae appointed by the court to assist Malik, sought minimum punishment, i.e., life imprisonment in the matter.

ALSO READ: Yasin Malik’s Sister Recites Quran At The Window Of Her House Before Sentencing

Malik, meanwhile, said that if Indian Intelligence can prove that he had been involved in any terrorist activity or violence in 28 years, then he would retire from politics, and will also accept the hanging.

The judge, however, said that since he has already been convicted, there was no point in arguing on the facts of the case and that he was already given the opportunity.

Security was beefed up both at Patiala House Court as well as in Maisuma area of Srinagar ahead of the announcement of the sentence. Drones were seen flying in Maisuma as his sister was seen reciting Quran at the window of her house. In Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, several protest processions were seen on the roads ahead of the judgment.

The court had on May 19 convicted Malik and had directed the NIA authorities to assess his financial situation to determine the amount of fine likely to be imposed.

ALSO READ: Yasin Malik’s Infamous Saga: From Polling Agent To Dreaded Terrorist

Malik had on May 10 told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled 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 organisation) of the UAPA and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the IPC.

Court had said that this was “prima facie” established that Malik and others were the direct recipients of terror funds. The court had also said Malik had set up an elaborate structure and mechanism across the world to raise funds for carrying out terrorist and other unlawful activities in Jammu and Kashmir in the name of the “freedom struggle”.

Arguments on the quantum of sentences were to take place on May 25, today. The court had also ordered Malik to furnish an affidavit on his financial assets before the next date of hearing.

“The analysis reflects that the statements of witnesses and documentary evidence have connected almost all the accused with each other and to a common object of secession, to the commonality of means they were to use, their close association to terrorist/ terrorist organizations under the guiding hand and funding of Pakistani establishment,” NIA Judge had said while passing the order.

On March 16, 2022, the NIA Court had ordered the framing of charges against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, Kashmiri separatist leaders including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, Naval Kishore Kapoor. and others under various sections of UAPA in a case pertaining to the terrorist and secessionist activities that disturbed the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

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.