Kashmir Freedom Fighter, Yasin Malik Demands Death Penalty

Srinagar, MINA – India’s top anti-terrorism investigation agency (NIA) has again demanded the death penalty for a prominent Kashmiri independence figure and former militant leader after he was sentenced to life imprisonment, official sources said as quoted by Arab News on Saturday.

Muhammad Yasin Malik (57), head of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was sentenced to life imprisonment on terrorism financing charges after refusing to accept a government-appointed lawyer or defend himself against the charges.

Previously, the court rejected NIA’s application saying the death penalty was for crimes that “shocked the collective consciousness” of society.

On Friday, the NIA again petitioned the High Court in New Delhi seeking the death penalty for Malik, a senior security official in Indian-administered Kashmir said.

The petition will be heard on Monday, legal news site Bar and Bench reported.

Malik spearheaded an armed rebellion in 1989 in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir with the aim of seeking independence for the entire former kingdom of both countries.

India responded with a massive military campaign and the conflict has left tens of thousands of civilians, soldiers and fighters dead.

Malik abandoned violence in 1994 to campaign peacefully for independence, meeting with Indian leaders including two prime ministers in the following years.

However in 2018, Malik was arrested months before New Delhi scrapped the restive region’s semi-autonomy, imposing a months-long lockdown and communications blockade.

Tensions have simmered in the Muslim-majority region since then, with many accusing Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to change its demographic balance. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)