Yasin Malik
Photo: PTI

NEW DELHI — A Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in New Delhi on Wednesday sentenced Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik to life imprisonment after he was convicted in connection with Jammu & Kashmir ‘terror’ funding case.

Notably, Malik had pleaded guilty in the case and did not contest the charges against him.

On Wednesday (May 25), the NIA urged the court to give the death penalty to Yasin Malik. Malik had said that will not beg for anything and left the decision on the court.

The lawyer who attended the court proceeding said, in the courtroom, “Yasin said that if he has been involved in any terrorist activity or violence in 28 years, if Indian Intelligence proves this, then he will also retire from politics. “I will accept the hanging. With seven Prime Ministers, I have worked,” Malik said as per the lawyer.

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On the demand by NIA for the death penalty to the separatist leader, he said, “I will not beg for anything. The case is before this court and I left on the court to decide it.”

NIA SPP (Special Public Prosecutor) told the court that Yasin Malik is responsible, in part, for the Kashmiri Pandit exodus.

The lawyer representing NIA on sought maximum punishment against Malik. However, Advocate Akhand Pratap Singh (court-appointed amicus) sought minimum punishment (life imprisonment).

Earlier, the court asked NIA to give an affidavit on the socio-economic status of convict Yasin Malik after taking the help of local authorities. Malik is also directed to file an affidavit disclosing all sources of his income and assets (movable and immovable).

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Yasin Malik has been charged with hatching a criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country, other unlawful activities, and disturbing peace in Kashmir.

On the last date of the hearing, he told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him, including Sections 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act), and 20 (being 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 present case is 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 perpetrating the ‘terrorist’ and secessionist activities to disturb Jammu and Kashmir.

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