Kashmiri separatist leader charged for ‘murder’

A trial court in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state has charged pro-independence leader Yasin Malik and six others for their alleged involvement in the 1990 killing of four Indian Air Force personnel.

The charges included attempt to murder, punishment for terror acts and disruptive activities, unlawful possession of arms and ammunition and hatching a criminal conspiracy.

An anti-terrorism court in Jammu on Monday found that the charges against Malik and others are reasonable, and observed: "You by doing all the afore referred criminal acts in furtherance of the execution of earlier hatched deep-rooted criminal conspiracy among you and co-accused of the case as detailed in the police charge-sheet of the CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] have prima facie committed offences.”

Last week, the court said there was enough evidence to start a trial process over the charges against them.

Yasin is the chief of the banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, a political organization working for the independence of Kashmir. He is under detention at the Tihar jail in the Indian capital New Delhi since last April in a terror-funding case.

In his appearance before the court through video link, Yasin said: "It is a fabricated case. I do not plead guilty, and will face the trial."

On 25 Jan. 1990, four air force personnel were killed while they were waiting for a bus in the region’s main city, Srinagar. An investigating agency produced charge sheet on Aug. 31, 1990.

- Disputed region

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

Source: Anadolu Agency