Former president of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Force (JKLF), Yasin Malik, an accused under UAPA Sections 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act), and 20 (being a member of terrorist gang or organisation) and Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of IPC yesterday pleaded guilty before a special NIA court for hatching a criminal conspiracy, waging war against India, and other unlawful activities disturbing the peace in the valley.
Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, former MLA Rashid Engineer, businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Bitta Karate, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Avatar Ahmad Shah, Naeem Khan, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, alias Peer Saifullah and several others have also been framed under charges for criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country and other unlawful activities.
The case related to the various terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) backed by Islamic State were perpetrating terrorist and secessionist activities to disturb Jammu and Kashmir.
Here's what you need to more about the case:
In March 2019, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered an FIR against the separatist leader for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala transactions, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and for causing disruption in the valley by way of pelting stones on the security forces, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India.
NIA in its investigation report, had accused Yasin Malik of receiving money through Kashmir-based hawala operators to fuel unrest in the valley. The funds would come from Pakistan, including terror groups such as the LeT.
On this information, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed the NIA to register a case. Accordingly, the present case was registered by NIA for offences u/s 120B, 121, 121A of IPC and sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39 and 40 of UAPA.
NIA further added that during the investigation, it was also revealed that APHC and other secessionists instigate the general public, especially the youth to observe strikes and to resort violence especially stone pelting on the security forces. This was done to create disaffection amongst the people of J-K towards the Government of India.
Malik did not have a lawyer in this case. The amicus curaie appointment by the court has confirmed that the accused was not contesting the charges levelled against him, including under UAPA.
Malik told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him including section 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 Indian Penal Code.
In March 2022, the court framed charges against Malik along with Shabir Shah, Rashid Engineer, Altaf Fantoosh, Masrat and Hurriyat/Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) for being direct recipients of terror funds.
Before 2014, he was being projected as the messiah of peace. He was seen as an important stakeholder in the establishment of peace in J&K among the top brass in Delhi’s power circles.
It was despite that fact that he had openly admitted to the killing of Kashmiri Hindus and four unarmed IAF officers.
After his arrest, in 2019, former CM of J&K, Farooq Abdullah hailed the terrorist for “choosing death over bowing before New Delhi”.
(with agency inputs)