According to an ANI report, separatist leader Yasin Malik of Jammu and Kashmir pleaded guilty before the NIA court in a terror funding case. The NIA court had recently ordered the framing of charges against several separatist leaders, including Yasin Malik, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the IPC.
The court will hear arguments on the quantum of the sentence on May 19, with Malik facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“The analysis reflects that the statements of witnesses and documentary evidence have connected almost all the accused with each other and to a common object of secession, to the commonality of means they were to use, and their close association with terrorist/ terrorist organisations under the guiding hand and funding of Pakistani establishment.”,” an NIA Judge recently said in passing the order.
On March 16, 2022, an NIA court ordered the filing of charges under various sections of the UAPA against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, as well as Kashmiri separatist leaders Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, and others in a case involving terrorist and secessionist activities that disrupted the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to an ANI report, the court also ordered the filing of charges against Kashmiri politician and former MLA Rashid Engineer, businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Bitta Karate, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Avatar Ahmad Shah, Naeem Khan, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, alias Peer Saifullah, and others under various sections of the IPC and UAPA, including criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country, and unlawful activities.
Meanwhile, the court formally framed the charges against other Kashmiri separatist leaders accused in the case. On Tuesday, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, Md Yusuf Shah, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Md Akbar Khanday, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Abdul Rashid Sheikh, and Naval Kishore Kapoor formally signed the court order copy
During the trial, the court reportedly noted that none of the accused has claimed that they do not have a separatist ideology or agenda or have not worked for or advocated for the former state’s secession of J-K from the Union of India.
APHC and JRL have been linked by witnesses to accused Shabir Shah, Yasin Malik, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Naeem Khan, and Bitta Karate. Another witness linked Er. Rashid to Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, who is linked to the APHC and Pakistani establishment/agencies, according to the court.
The court also clarified that whatever is stated in this order is a prima facie opinion, despite the fact that a detailed discussion of the evidence was required because both sides advanced their arguments in great detail. Various terrorist organisations, including Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Jaish-e-Mohd. (JeM), and others, perpetrated violence in the valley with the support of Pakistan’s ISI, according to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
It was also claimed that the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) was founded in 1993 to provide a political front for secessionist activities. According to the NIA charge sheet, the Central Government received credible information that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the Amir of Jammat-ud-Dawah, and other secessionist and separatist leaders, including members of the Hurriyat Conference, have been conspiring with active militants of proscribed terrorist organisations such as the HM, LeT, and others to raise, receive, and collect funds domestically and abroad through various illegal channels, including hawala.
The NIA also stated in court that this was done to fund separatist and terrorist activities in J-K and that as a result, they have joined a larger conspiracy to cause chaos in the Valley by pelting stones on security forces, systematically burning schools, damaging public property, and declaring war on India.
The Ministry of Home Affairs directed the NIA to file a case based on this information. As a result, NIA has filed a case under sections 120B, 121, and 121A of the IPC, as well as sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39, and 40 of the UAPA.
This was done to instil distrust in the people of J-K for the Indian government. The investigation revealed that secessionists were mobilising funds from all possible sources to fuel unrest and support ongoing secessionist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the NIA.
According to the NIA report, the secessionists received funds from Pakistan, terrorist organisations based in Pakistan, and local donations.