11 Years Later, Anti-terror Court Clears Yaseen Malik
23 September 2003
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Eleven years after Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yaseen Malik was booked under TADA, a special court today acquitted him of the charge of 'aiding and abetting terrorist activities in the Valley'. Designated judge S.N. Dhingra acquitted Malik, saying the conspiracy charge levelled against him did not hold ground as 'evidence showed that he had been acting independently.' The court found no evidence of him having conspired with the others or that of receiving money. Reacting to the judgment, Malik, who was present in the court, said, 'Justice has been done after a long time'. Welcoming the decision, Malik's lawyer R.M. Tufail said: 'Yaseen had been framed in this case only as a ploy to keep him away from J-K.' Tufail pointed out that Yaseen had 45 cases pending against him in Jammu and Kashmir, but not a single one had been decided upon. Malik was arrested from Delhi on February 13, 1992, on the charge that he had received money from Pakistan's ISI for promoting militant organisations in the Valley. The police claimed to have recovered about Rs 4.5 lakh from his possession. The CBI, which chargesheeted him, alleged that during 1985-1992, Malik had conspired with four other accused from different outfits for 'aiding and abetting' militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. The investigating agency claimed that on February 7, 1992, Malik and co-accused Sheikh Ghulam Mohammed, received Rs 7.5 lakh from ISI operatives in New Delhi and an additional Rs 25 lakh on February 10. Others arrested were Mufti Merazuddin, Sheikh Ghulam Mohammad, Mohammad Yasin Bhatt and Mushataq Ahmed Zargar. The last two were picked up subsequently. But the CBI, which was handed the case from Delhi Police, could not produce any evidence to substantiate the conspiracy charges against Malik.