New Delhi: Jamu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Leader Yaseen Malik was today sentenced to life in prison by a special Delhi court.
The Indian National Investigation Agency had demanded the maximum punishment, the death penalty, while the defence pleaded for life imprisonment.
“Two life sentences and five punishments of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment each have been awarded. All sentences are to run concurrently. A monetary penalty of over ₹ 10 lakh has also been levied,” lawyer Umesh Sharma said.
Different prison sentences and fines have been awarded for different cases. Yasin Malik now has the option to appeal the sentencing in the High Court.
During the hearing, Malik had argued why would the Indian government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee give him a passport and allow him to travel and speak around the world if he was a criminal.
Malik also said that he has followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhi ever since he gave up arms in 1994. “I have been doing non-violent politics in Kashmir ever since,” he said.
He even challenged the Indian intelligence agencies to point out if has been involved in any terror activities or violence in the last 28 years. “I will retire from politics and also my hanging,” he added.
Srinagar witnessed a complete shutdown today in anticipation of the verdict. Shops and other business establishments were shut in all parts of the city. However, the public transport and private vehicles were operating normally. Stone pelting and protest demonstrations were reported from many places and the police had to resort to firing tear gas shells.