India’s anti-terror agency seeks death sentence for Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik

Chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik. —Agencies

India’s top anti-terrorism investigation agency has once again requested the death sentence for Muhammad Yasin Malik, a prominent Kashmiri independence leader. Malik, who is 57 years old and serves as the chief of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was sentenced to life imprisonment last year in a case related to terror funding. This decision came after he refused to accept a government-appointed lawyer and declined to defend himself against the charges.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had previously appealed for the death penalty, but the court rejected their plea, stating that capital punishment should only be reserved for crimes that “shock the collective consciousness” of society. However, the NIA has now filed a fresh petition with the High Court in New Delhi, seeking a death sentence for Malik. The hearing for this petition is scheduled to take place on Monday.

Yasin Malik has a long history of imprisonment, having spent a total of 14 years in jail where he claims to have been subjected to torture. In 2018, he was finally arrested, just months before New Delhi revoked the special status of the Indian-administered region of Jammu and Kashmir, leading to a months-long lockdown and communication blockade.

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