NEW DELHI: Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik was convicted by a Special NIA court in Delhi on Thursday after he pleaded guilty in a terror funding case.
The court has posted the matter for arguments on the quantum of sentence on May 25.
The court also asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to assess his financial situation in order to determine the amount of fine to be imposed on him. The court also asked Malik to submit an affidavit disclosing all sources of income, and his moveable and immoveable assets.
The development came after Special NIA Judge Praveen Singh had framed charges against Malik and others under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case, on March 16 this year.
On May 10, Malik, who is currently lodged in Delhi’s high-security Tihar jail accepted all charges against him in a terror funding case in the Patiala House court and said that he is not contesting the charges.
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On the last date of hearing on May 10, Malik told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him, including Section 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act), and 20 (being member of a terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA and Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.
There is a provision for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Speaking to The New Indian, court-appointed amicus curiae AP Singh said, “He has accepted that he is guilty and as per the sections under which he is charged he will be convicted accordingly.”
When asked why Malik chose to plead guilty while all other accused pleaded not guilty, Singh said, “These people are on their own. He (Malik) also said I feel that I am guilty and I have committed these acts.”
“And after listening to all these statements the court will also include them in its judgement,” Singh said.
“Even today asked him whether you have decided on the same and he said yes,” Singh added.
According to NIA, Malik, along with Pakistan based banned terror group Hizbul Mujahideen chief Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin, late Sayeed Ahmed Shah Geelani, Umar Farooq, Asiya Andrabi, Shabbir Shah and other Hurriyat leaders were the main organizers of the conspiracy.
Altaf Ahmad Shah aka Fantoosh, son-in-law of Geelani, Aftab Ahmad Shah aka Shahid-ul-Islam and Nayeem Khan and others were the main strategists and planners.
The NIA also alleged that Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali and others were the fundraisers and financial conduits while Bashir Ahmad Bhat aka Peer Saifullah, Farooq Ahmad Dar aka Bitta Karate, Noor Mohammad Kalwal and others were the executors of anti-India protests, demonstrations and violence.
It further said that Mohammad Akbar Khanday Aftab Ahmad Shah aka Shahid-ul-Islam and others were the publicity managers and propagandists for the Hurriyat Conference.
The NIA alleged that Malik aka Aslam is the head of JKLF, an organization involved in terrorist and subversive activities in Jammu & Kashmir.
The NIA stated that being a part of the conspiracy related to secessionist and terrorist activities in J&K, Malik was arrested in this case on April 10, 2019, and the NIA carried out searches at his premises on February 26, 2019, and incriminating materials were found.
The NIA also alleged that Malik played a key role in orchestrating the protests and demonstrations. “Apart from a protest calendar for the period from August 6, 2016, to August 16, 2016, which was signed by Chairman AHPC, a yearly calendar was also recovered from the house of Malik. During the period from August 6, 2016, to August 16, 2016, the protests were very violent and 89 cases of stone-pelting and other unlawful activities were registered during this period,” the NIA alleged.
It also said that the strategy adopted by Malik in conspiracy with other accused was unearthed during the investigation.
“From the premises of Malik, a copy of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’s letterhead was seized. On that letterhead, the terrorist organizations i.e. HM, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) jointly warned the people who supported the football tournament in the valley to disengage themselves from the organizers of this game and to show loyalty to the freedom struggle,” it said.
The NIA also brought to the fore the Facebook chat between him and Shahid ul Islam, which showed that the stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir Valley were orchestrated as a part of a well-planned conspiracy hatched by the accused persons.
“During the investigation, e-mails from the account of Malik were downloaded. These e-mails show 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 J&K in the name of “freedom struggle”,” it said.
The NIA also said that a mail which was sent by one Mohammad Hussain Khan to one Arif Shafi Wani and copy to Malik shows that he had a close association with the banned terrorist organization LeT.
The court has also framed charges against Shabir Ahmad Shah, Masarat Alam, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate and Masarat Alam among 15 others.
On March 16, the court had said that it was an orchestra conspiracy and their plan was straight from the playbook of Adolf Hitler.