YASIN MALIK

Frontline pro-freedom and erstwhile militant commander, Mohammad Yasin Malik, has decided to move his campaign to New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the frequent awarding of life and death sentences to Kashmiris by Indian courts.

After spearheading a fifteen daylong campaign, JKLF Chairman sought formal closure of cases against all the pro-freedom activists registered by police prior to 1994. He accused New Delhi of misusing its institutions to suppress the democratic rights of Kashmiri people.

“There is absolutely no justification for the trials in the cases registered till 1994,” Malik said.”Because in 1994 we moved from violence to non-violence.”

Malik a frontline JKLF militant leader was set free in 1994 and within days he announced, a unilateral ceasefire, in a news conference that he addressed in the SMHS hospital. Since then the JKLF has not touched the gun and continued its activities politically.So far, 30 individuals in separate case havebeen awarded life sentences by different courts.

Apart from sponsoring a strike against the move, JKLF activists courted arrests at various places in Srinagar in a phased manner. Malik personally led the campaign and was in detention for nearly 10 days in the central jail Srinagar. Within a few days after he was bailed out, Malik sought closure of the cases. “JKLF will now have a peaceful protest in Delhi against the life terms and death sentences being awarded to Kashmiri youth by courts,” he said. Adding, “If it does not work, I will go for an indefinite hunger strike”.

Malik who was actively engaged with the civil society in Delhi and elsewhere was highly critical of “all those characters”. Indian civil society, Malik asserted, act like fire fighters. “They jump to extinguish fire and when it is controlled they flee,” Malik said, referring to columnist Kuldeep Nayar and Co who would usually fly specially to make him break his post-1994 hunger strikes. Malik said when Nayar engaged with him and encouraged him to shun violence he was doing so at the behest of the then Prime Minister of India.

The 1994 ceasefire, Malik claimed happened because of active encouragement from US and New Delhi and the main assurance was that adequate space would be provided for political activities. “Instead of space, we are getting life imprisonments and death penalties,” he said.

Malik stressed upon all the pro-freedom leaders to form a joint strategy against what he calls ‘the policy of judicial violence against Kashmiris’.

Shah Abbas

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