Kashmiri freedom leader and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front President Yasin Malik has been sentenced to life in prison by a special New Delhi court.
The National Investigation Agency of India had demanded the death penalty for Yasin’s alleged crime of ‘funding terror’.
Indian media reports cited the verdict as awarding Yasin two life sentences, five punishments of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a monetary penalty of one million Indian rupees.
Following the development, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated that the day was a “black day” for democracy and the justice system in India. He added that India could imprison Yasin Malik physically but could not imprison the idea of freedom he symbolised.
Today is a black day for Indian democracy & its justice system. India can imprison Yasin Malik physically but it can never imprison idea of freedom he symbolises. Life imprisonment for valiant freedom fighter will provide fresh impetus to Kashmiris' right to self-determination.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 25, 2022
The military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations stated that the country strongly condemned the life sentence awarded to Yasin Malik on “fabricated charges”. It added that the “oppressive tactives cannot dampen the spirit of the people of Kashmir in their struggle against illegal Indian occupation”.
On May 19, an Indian court had convicted Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik in a case related to terrorism that is punishable by death or life imprisonment.
Being a member of an organization fighting for the freedom of Kashmiris, Malik had been charged with raising funds and ‘terrorist acts’.
According to Indian media, Praveen Singh, the judge of the court, had set May 25 for hearing the arguments from both sides on this sentence. The court has also asked Yasin Malik to give an affidavit about his assets.
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front stated that during the trial, leader Yasin malik protested and said that he was a freedom fighter and that all charges were fabricated against him.
“If asking for freedom is terrorism then he is ready to accept this crime and its consequences,” Malik said in court.
On the other hand, on May 18, the Indian Charge d’ Affaires (Cd’A) was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan and handed over a demarche conveying a strong condemnation on the framing of fabricated charges against Hurriyat leader Muhammad Yasin Malik, who is imprisoned at Tihar jail by the Indian authorities.