Kashmiri separatist Yasin Malik gets life imprisonment

Adoba Echono

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A court in India has sentenced senior Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik to life imprisonment after convicting him of funding terrorism.

He was found guilty of participating in and funding terrorist acts and involvement in a criminal conspiracy.

Malik told the court he gave up arms in the 1990s.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Muslim-majority Kashmir since an armed revolt against rule by India, which is mostly Hindu, erupted in 1989.

The court in the capital Delhi gave Malik 56 two life sentences and five 10-year jail terms, all to be served concurrently.

India’s National Investigating Agency (NIA), which deals with anti-terror crimes, had demanded the death penalty for Malik, the leader of the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmiri Liberation Front (JKLF).

The defence had asked for life imprisonment.

Malik was arrested shortly after the JKLF was banned in 2019.

He did not contest the charges brought against him under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), as well as sedition and criminal conspiracy charges.

Malik told the court that after giving up weapons in 1994, he had “followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. 

Since then, I have been following non-violent politics in Kashmir.”

He challenged the Indian intelligence agencies to prove that he had been involved in any terror activity since then.

Some of the acts for which he was convicted took place in 2016, prosecutors alleged.

Other charges date back over three decades.

 

Zainab Sa’id

 


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