SRINAGAR: Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, who is undergoing a life sentence in Delhi’s Tihar prison in a funding case, appeared virtually in a special court in Jammu on Wednesday.
The court on September 20 issued Malik’s production warrants to the jail authorities after he sought to appear in person to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses in two cases related to the killing of four Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and the abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of then Union home minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, in 1989, reported
The Tihar prison authorities cited directions from the Union home ministry and told the court that Malik cannot be produced before it in person. The court will hear the matter related to IAF personnel on November 23.
Senior advocate SK Bhat, who appeared on behalf of the prosecution, said the Tihar jail superintendent informed the court that Malik’s travel to Jammu was not possible. He added the superintendent said an appeal related to Malik’s sentence in the funding case is pending before the high court and he has to remain lodged in Tihar jail.
“The special judge accepted the plea. Malik was present virtually during the hearing. Now, he has to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses via virtual mode. Otherwise, his right to cross-examination will be closed,” Hindustan Times quoted Bhat as having said.
He said one of the witnesses identified Malik and his other associates as the ones who held guns with malicious intent when the IAF personnel were killed.
Bhat said the abduction case will be taken up on Thursday. “She [Rubaiya Sayeed] has been summoned. She may appear. Malik will be virtually present in that case also.” He said Malik has been given a fair trial and that the court offered legal aid but he refused.
The special court in March 2020 framed charges against Malik and six others for their alleged involvement in the killing of four unarmed IAF personnel in January 1990 at Rawalpora in Srinagar.