Yasin Malik, a Kashmiri pro-independence leader, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the case of ‘terror’ funding by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in the Indian capital New Delhi.
Malik is one of Indian-administered Kashmir’s prominent pro-freedom leaders and heads the now-banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
Despite having pleaded guilty to all charges, the court prosecutor had sought the death penalty for Malik.
The 56-year-old Yasin Malik found guilty of terrorist acts during a jury trial last week, including illegally raising funds, belonging to a terrorist organization, and participating in a criminal conspiracy.
Lawyer Umesh Sharma said that a monetary penalty of over 10 lakh rupees also imposed. Different prison sentences and fines handed down for different cases. Yasin Malik has the option to appeal the sentencing in the High Court.
In 1989, Malik’s group committed violent acts against Kashmiri Hindus, which caused many Kashmiris to flee. The Indian government says Malik was at the forefront of separatist activities and violence in the Kashmir valley since 1988.
NIA had brought 10 charges against Malik, including fighting and attempting to fight against the government. He also charged for raising funds for anyone wishing to “commit a terrorist act”.
The black day for Indian democracy & its justice system.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, stated that the day had been a “black day” for Indian democracy and its justice system.
Sharif wrote on Twitter that India could put Yasin Malik in jail physically, but it could never put an end to the freedom he represents.