An Indian court on Thursday convicted Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik in a terror funding case that carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty or life imprisonment.
He had been charged with “terrorist” acts, illegally raising funds, being a member of a “terrorist organisation,” criminal conspiracy, and sedition, Aljazeera reported.
Special Judge Praveen Singh directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) authorities to assess Malik’s financial situation and told Malik to provide an affidavit regarding his financial assets. He has posted the matter for arguments on the quantum of sentence on May 25.
Read more: Save Yasin Malik’s life: Mushaal
According to his organization, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Malik told the court that “Terrorism-related charges leveled against me are concocted, fabricated and politically motivated.”
He said, “If seeking Azadi (freedom) is a crime, then I am ready to accept this crime and its consequences.”
My reaction on the fake verdict against my husband Yasin Malik . If standing for freedom is a crime then every Kashmiri is a criminal! The killer is the state, the killer is the Judge, the killers ,occupiers can never give justice! #ReleaseYasinMalik pic.twitter.com/40Dp1BKn82
— Mushaal Hussein Mullick (@MushaalMullick) May 19, 2022
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was one of the first armed rebel groups to come into existence in the Indian-occupied Kashmir. The group, led by Malik, gave up armed rebellion in the disputed region in 1994.
In 2019, the Indian government arrested Malik, banned the JKLF, and stripped Indian-administered Kashmir of its special status.
Read more: India wants PM Sharif to take anti-terrorism actions
A day earlier, Islamabad strongly condemned India for framing fabricated charges against Malik, who is currently imprisoned at Tihar jail by the Indian authorities, and submitted a demarche to the Indian Charge d’ Affaires (Cd’A).
The statement said that in a bid to suppress the voice of the indigenous Kashmiri leadership, the Indian government had resorted to implicating them in fictitious and motivated cases.
The FO spokesperson said, neither the malevolent Indian tactics of conjuring up false charges against Kashmiri leadership nor the environment of persecution, repression, and intimidation could quash the relentless struggle of the Kashmiris.
Islamabad also urged the international community “to counsel India to drop all fabricated charges against all political leaders of IIOJK including Mr. Yasin Malik, ensure their safety and well-being, and provide them complete legal protections, including the right to a free and fair trial.”