An Indian court issued on Monday a notice to jailed Kashmiri independence figure Yasin Malik on the country’s top anti-terrorism investigation agency plea seeking the death penalty for him in a terror funding case, the Press Trust of India reported.
A bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh also issued warrants for the production of Malik before it on August 9.
Muhammad Yasin Malik, 57, chief of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), pleaded guilty last year to funding terrorism after refusing to accept a government-appointed lawyer or to defend himself against the charges.
The court turned down a plea by the National Investigation Agency for a death sentence, saying capital punishment was for a crime that “shocks the collective consciousness” of society.
Last week, the NIA again approached the court and sought a death sentence for Malik. The hearing was due on Monday (today).
At the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared on behalf of the National Investigation Agency in the court. He alleged that the accused indulged in terrorist and secessionist activities and should be awarded the death penalty by treating the matter as a “rarest of rare” case.
“In view of the ground that Yasin Malik, sole respondent in this appeal, has inter alia pleaded guilty to a charge under section 121 IPC which provides for an alternate death sentence, we issue notice to him… to be served through the jail superintendent,” the court ordered, “let warrants be issued for his production on the next date of hearing.”
The JKLF was one of the first armed freedom fighting groups to come into existence in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It supported an independent and united Kashmir. Led by Malik, the group gave up armed resistance in 1994.
A resistance movement broke out in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 1989 with fighters demanding an independent Kashmir or its merger with Pakistan.