NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: An Indian court on Wednesday sentenced Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik to life imprisonment for funding “terrorist” activities and other charges, a judge said, prompting street protests outside the politician’s residence.
Malik, head of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), earlier told a special court designated for the National Investigation Agency that he had been following Gandhian principles and non-violent politics in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir after giving up arms in the 1990s.
“Life imprisonment sentence to the convict, Yasin Malik,” Special Judge Parveen Singh said in the court in New Delhi.
Malik’s wife Mushaal Hussain Malik said the sentencing was illegitimate.
“Verdict in minutes by Indian kangaroo court,” she wrote on Twitter
“The iconic leader will never surrender.”
In India-occupied Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, police fired tear gas and pellets to disperse stone-pelting protesters outside Malik’s residence.
Malik was convicted last week.
‘Contrived and one-sided verdict’
Pakistan has categorically rejected the malafide sentencing of Yasin Malik in a contrived and one-sided case, the Foreign Office said in a statement. “The Indian Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad was called to the Foreign Office today to convey Pakistan’s strongest condemnation and rejection of the malafide conviction and sentencing of Hurriyat leader Mr. Yasin Malik in a grossly suspicious and contrived case registered under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC), dating back to 2017, filed against him by the Indian National Investigation Agency,” it said.
The Indian official was asked to advise his government to acquit Mr. Yasin Malik from all baseless charges, ensure his well-being and arrange for his immediate release from the prison.
Pakistan also called for the release of IIOJK leaders.
The army also tweeted its condemnation of the life sentence awarded to Yasin Malik ‘on fabricated charges’.
“Such oppressive tactics cannot dampen the spirit of people of Kashmir in their just struggle against illegal Indian occupation,” the military’s media wing said in a tweet.