Special Indian court awards life sentence to Muhammad Yasin Malik in terror funding case
PM Shehbaz, Bilawal, Asif Zardari, DG ISPR Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar, Shahzain Bugti strongly condemn unjust sentencing of Yasin Malik
NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI ( Web News )
A Special Indian court on Wednesday sentenced Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Muhammad Yasin Malik imprisoned in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, to life imprisonment in an alleged terror funding case. “Life imprisonment sentence to the convict, Yasin Malik,” Special Judge Parveen Singh said in the court in New Delhi.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had sought the death penalty for the Kashmiri leader and chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), but the court awarded him two life imprisonments, according to the “Times of India”.
The NIA court handed down two life sentences and five 10-year terms of rigorous imprisonment, which will run concurrently. Moreover, a penalty of Rs 1 million has also been slapped on the Kashmiri leader, according to “NDTV”.
The Hurriyat leader was convicted in the terror-funding case last week after he pleaded guilty to all the charges last Tuesday, including the ones under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Muhammad Yasin Malik had refused to contest the charges, including Section 16 (terrorist act), Section 17 (raising funds for a terrorist act), Section 18 (conspiracy to commit a terrorist act) and Section 20 (being a member of a terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA and Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.
The NIA being prosecution presented the details of the properties and assets of Yasin Malik.
The Indian government arrested the Hurriyat leader in 2019, the same year when the special status of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir was revoked.
In occupied Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, police fired tear gas and pellets to disperse stone-pelting protesters outside Malik’s residence.
Yasin Malik submitted before the court that he would not “beg” for mercy, and that court could decide at its discretion. He maintained 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, the report stated.
Yasin Malik 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.
Yasin 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.”
Meanwhile in response, Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said “today is a black day” for Indian democracy and its justice system, noting that despite the order, the idea of freedom Malik symbolises could never be imprisoned.
“Life imprisonment for valiant freedom fighters will provide fresh impetus to Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” the prime minister said in a condemnation tweet.
“Today is a black day for Indian democracy & its justice system. India can imprison Yasin Malik physically but it can never imprison idea of freedom he symbolises. Life imprisonment for valiant freedom fighter will provide fresh impetus to Kashmiris’ right to self-determination” PM Shehbaz Sharif tweeted.
Minister for Interior Affairs Rana Sanuallah Khan in a statmenet issued on twitter said that sentencing Muhammad Yasin Malik to life imprisonment is a cowardly act on part of the Indian Court. Rana Sanaullah said that such brutal coercion and repression will not deter Kashmiris like Yasin Malik from fighting for their legitimate rights. He said that Pakistan and its people stand with Yasin Malik and his family.
In a statement on Twitter, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari strongly condemned the unjust sentencing of the Hurriyat leader in a sham trial.
“India can never silence Kashmiris’ voice for freedom and self-determination. Pakistan stands with Kashmiri brothers and sisters, will continue to provide all possible support in their just struggle,” he added.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the sentencing of Malik and noted that he is a hero of the struggle for independence of occupied Kashmir. “Imprisonment and torture cannot break the resolve of [….] Malik,” the former president said in a statement.
Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar, in a statement, strongly condemned the life sentence awarded to Malik on fabricated charges. “Such oppressive tactics cannot dampen the spirit of people of Kashmir in their just struggle against illegal Indian occupation. We stand with them in quest for self-determination as per UNSCRs,” he added.
“Pakistan strongly condemns life sentence awarded to Yasin Malik on fabricated charges. Such oppressive tactics cannot dampen the spirit of people of Kashmir in their just struggle against illegal Indian occupation. We stand with them in quest for self-determination as per UNSCRs” DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar tweeted.
Minister for Anti-Narcotics Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti also strongly condemned the unfair lifetime imprisonment of Yasin Malik. In a statement issued on twitter on Wednesday, Shahzain Bugti said that such injustice can’t deprive Kashmiris from their rights. Shameful and dark day for Indian so called judiciary system, he said. “We stand with the Kashmiri people and will continue to support the struggle for self-determination” Shahzain Bugti said.