NEW DELHI: In an ironical twist, bordering fallacy, Yasin Malik had tried to invoke the principles of non-violence espoused by Mahatma Gandhi.
Even as a Special Court in Delhi announced life imprisonment with a fine of Rs 10.75 lakh on the separatist leader in the 2017 terror funding case, it said that though he gave up the gun in 1994, he never condemned the path of violence.
The court said that Malik cannot invoke Mahatma Gandhi and claimed to be his follower because, in Mahatma Gandhi’s principles, there was no place for violence, howsoever high the objective might be.
In its order copy, Special NIA court judge Praveen Singh came down hard on Malik and said, “Admittedly, the convict had been engaged in violent terrorist activities prior to 1994. The claim of the convict is that he gave up the gun in the year 1994 and thereafter, he was recognised as a legitimate political player which is evident by the fact that the government of India has been engaging with him and had been providing him with the platforms to express his opinions.”
“On the face of it, it seems to be a very sound argument which would give an impression that the convict has already reformed. However, in my opinion, there was no reformation of this convict. It may be correct that the convict may have given up the gun in the year 1994, but he had never expressed any regret for the violence he had committed prior to the year 1994,” he said.
In his order, the Judge said, “It is to be noticed that, when he claimed to have given up the path of violence after the year 1994, the government of India took it upon its face value and gave him an opportunity to reform and in good faith, tried to engage in a meaningful dialogue with him and as admitted by him, gave him every platform to express his opinion.”
“However, as discussed in the order on the charge, the convict did not desist from violence. Rather, betraying the good intentions of the government he took a different path to orchestrate violence in the guise of political struggle,” the Judge said.
The Judge further said that Malik has claimed that he had followed the Gandhian principle of “non-violence” and was spearheading a peaceful non-violent struggle.
“However, the evidence on the basis of which charges were framed and to which convict has pleaded guilty, speaks otherwise. The entire movement was planned to be a violent movement and large-scale violence ensued as a matter of fact. I must observe here that the convict cannot invoke the Mahatma and claim to be his follower because, in Mahatma Gandhi’s principles, there was no place for violence, howsoever high the objective might be,” the Judge said.
“It only took one small incident of violence at Chauri Chaura for the Mahatma to call off the entire non-cooperation movement but the convict, despite the large scale of violence engulfing the valley neither condemned the violence nor withdrew his calendar of protest which had led to the said violence,” he said.