India’s judicial persecution of Yasin Malik: A bid to silence Kashmiri dissent

India’s illegal and unilateral abrogation of articles 370 and 35A on August 5, 2019, was not only a blatant violation of the UN-recognized disputed status of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), but also a declaration of war against the Kashmiri people and their political leadership.

Since then, the political leadership of IIOJK has been languishing in Indian and J&K jails and has been charged with decade-old cases just to deprive the masses of their right of political struggle against Indian political machinations.

The case of Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik is of particular concern as India regards him as a hurdle in manifesting its sinister plans. Malik is the chief of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a pro-independence organization that advocates for the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

On May 19, 2022, Malik was convicted by the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court on charges of conspiracy and waging war against the Indian state. On May 24, 2022, a trial court awarded life imprisonment to Malik after holding him guilty of various offences under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On May 26, 2023, NIA approached the Delhi High Court seeking death penalty for Kashmiri leader and chief of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Yasin Malik¹. The petition is listed for hearing on May 29.

It is pertinent to mention that during the first five years of BJP/ RSS government led by PM Narendra Modi no militancy-related cases against him and his party were filed. It was only after the abrogation of articles 370 and 35A that India revived old cases against him and his associates.

Yasin Malik has publicly accused the judge of behaving like a “prosecuting or police officer” and being denied a fair trial. He stated that “Though I have every legal right to be presented physically before the court, but the judge and the CBI at the behest of government are not allowing me to present myself before the trial court physically”.

Tufail Raja, the lawyer representing Malik in the NIA’s fake case, said that cases are being fabricated against him. Raja said Malik has decided that if the government does not offer him a fair trial, he will boycott it.

Yasin Malik and all other Hurriyat leaders have been illegally detained by India in a jail in New Delhi for the past several years. The Indian court has convicted Yasin Malik in a 30-year old fake and false concocted case.

Yasin Malik is being punished for leading a peaceful human rights movement in a region which thrives on Indian state’s violence and authoritarianism.

In IIOJK, pro-freedom leaders and organizations have cautioned that the Hindutva-inspired BJP regime is conspiring to hang JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik to regain the losing popularity in 2024 Indian elections.

However, the latest move by India’s notorious NIA to file a petition in New Delhi High Court seeking death penalty for Yasin Malik is a part of the conspiracy hatched by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The move reflects the crooked mindset of the apartheid regime that wants to kill every Kashmiri who refuses to accept the Indian narrative on Kashmir.

The Indian government’s actions in IIOJK are a clear violation of human rights and international law. The international community must take action to stop the Indian government from silencing the voices of dissent in IIOJK. Indian government is using state institutions to silence the voices of dissent in IIOJK by arresting and imprisoning political leaders and activists, imposing a military curfew, restricting freedom of speech and assembly.

The Indian government has arrested and imprisoned thousands of political leaders and activists in IIOJK. Many of these people have been charged with terrorism and sedition. Many of the trials have been held in secret and the accused have been denied bail.

The Indian government has imposed a military curfew in IIOJK. This curfew has made it difficult for people to move around and has made it difficult for them to express their views.

The Indian government has restricted freedom of speech and assembly in IIOJK. This has made it difficult for people to express their views and to organize protests and demonstrations.

The Indian government’s actions in IIOJK are a clear violation of human rights and international law. The international community must take action to stop the Indian government from silencing the voices of dissent in IIOJK.

Indian judicial system is being used as a state instrument to silence the voices of dissent Kashmiri leaders in IIOJK.

The Modi regime wants to make Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik a scapegoat to make a comeback in the 2024 elections in India.

The international human rights bodies should take effective cognisance of the matter, and stop India from using its kangaroo courts to punish Kashmiri leaders who have been championing the Kashmiris’ just cause peacefully.

The Indian government has been using state institutions, including the judiciary, to silence the voices of dissent in Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). This is a clear violation of human rights and international law.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author.

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