Terror funding case: Yasin Malik gets lifer
The National Investigation Agency demanded death penalty; Malik argued why would the Vajpayee government give him passport and allow him to travel and speak around the world, if he was a criminal
New Delhi: Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik was sentenced to life in prison by a special Delhi court. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had demanded the maximum punishment, the death penalty, while the defence pleaded for life imprisonment.
"Two life sentences and five punishments of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment each have been awarded. All sentences are to run concurrently. A monetary penalty of over Rs10 lakh has also been levied," lawyer Umesh Sharma said. Different prison sentences and fines have been awarded for different cases. Yasin Malik now has the option to appeal the sentencing in the High Court.
Malik had earlier pleaded guilty to all the charges including those under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in a terror funding case.
During the hearing, Malik had argued why would the Indian government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee give him a passport and allow him to travel and speak around the world if he was a criminal.
Malik also said that he has followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhi ever since he gave up arms in 1994. "I have been doing non-violent politics in Kashmir ever since," he said.
He even challenged the Indian intelligence agencies to point out if has been involved in any terror activities or violence in the last 28 years. "I will retire from politics and also my hanging," he added.
Parts of Srinagar witnessed a shutdown in anticipation of the verdict. Shops and other business establishments were shut in some parts of the city. However, the public transport and private vehicles were operating normally. Stone pelting and protest demonstrations were reported from a few places and the police had to resort to firing tear gas shells.
Security officials have been deployed in the sensitive areas of Srinagar to avoid any law-and-order situation, officials said.
The court had earlier said that Malik had set up an elaborate structure and mechanism across the world to raise funds for carrying out terrorist and other unlawful activities in Jammu and Kashmir in the name of the "freedom struggle".
The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Wednesday termed "unfortunate" the life imprisonment awarded to Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik by a Delhi court in a terror funding case and said it is a "setback" to the efforts for peace.