A special NIA court awarded life imprisonment to Kashmiri separatist leader and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik, a week after he pleaded guilty and was convicted of terror funding, spreading terrorism and secessionist activities in the Valley in 2017.
Special judge Praveen Singh also awarded varying jail terms for various offences under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Indian Penal Code. The court also imposed a fine of around ₹10 lakh on Malik.
The life term was awarded for two offences — Section 121 (waging war against the government of India) of the IPC and section 17 (raising funds for a terrorist act) of the UAPA. All the sentences will run concurrently.
The case pertains to the conspiracy of LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and members of the Hurriyat Conference, who acted in connivance to raise, receive and collect funds domestically for funding terrorist activities in J&K to cause disruption in the Kashmir by way of pelting stones on security forces, systematically burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India.
The NIA court observed that the crime committed by Malik was of serious nature. These crimes were intended to strike at the heart of India with the assistance of foreign powers and a designated terrorist, the court stated.
On Wednesday, the NIA sought death penalty for the Kashmiri separatist leader, who had earlier pleaded guilty to all the charges, including those under the stringent UAPA.
The PAGD, led by the former J&K CM and National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah, said Malik’s conviction was unfortunate and a setback to the efforts for peace. “PAGD is afraid that this will further compound the uncertainties in the region and will only fuel more alienation and separatist feelings… NIA Court has delivered its verdict but not justice,” said PAGD spokesman Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami.