A court here Wednesday sent chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Yasin Malik to four days remand after police brought charges of attempt to murder against him and his associates, evoking strong resentment from the pro-independence group and the Bar Association.
Besides section 307 of RPC (attempt to murder), police slapped several other charges on the JKLF chief and seven of his associates after they was detained following a symbolic protest Malik led to march towards the Badami Bagh military headquarters in Srinagar on Monday.
The protest march was called by the Joint Resistance Leadership – of which Malik is a part besides Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq – against
According to an First Information Report (FIR), a copy of which is with the Kashmir Post, the JKLF chief and seven of its other leaders, including Mushtaq Ajmal, Muhammad Hanif Dar, Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar, Imtiyaz Ahmad Ganie, Shakir Ahmad Ahangar, Fayaz Ahmad and Basharat Ahmad, have been booked under sections 307, ,336, 353, 353, 427, 148, 147, 147 and 152 of RPC.
All of them were part of Monday’s attempted protest march towards Badami Bagh.
Malik was leading the symbolic protest by his group and scores of protestors including women and youth who wore shrouds with “Indian army kills us all” painted over.
Police foiled the protest and fired tear gas to the marchers back before taking Malik into custody.
On Wednesday, the JKLF chief was presented in the court of Third Munsif where his lawyer Advocate Bashir Sidiq argued that it was unfortunate a leader of “such a huge stature” was slapped with a charge like
“The JKLF chief has been following non-violent means of protest since past 24 years. He has been even choosing the hunger strike as a means to register his protest. Slapping him with the charges like attempt to murder is a sheer injustice,” Advocate Sidiq said, who appeared in defense of Malik on behalf of the Bar Association.
“Police must come up with a proof to support its charges of attempt to murder against the JKLF chief and his associates.”
A JKLF spokesman said its chief informed the court that “police officers almost heckled him (during the protest) and there were many videos available as evidence.”
“Malik also told the court that those who assaulted peaceful protesters and almost strangulated me to death have charged us with
“Police then arrested us and booked us under sections 107 and 151 but as soon magistrate ordered our release on personal bond, police re-arrested and booked us under section 307.”
Malik’s counsel stated that the JKLF chief and all his seven associates were sent to four-day police remand.
Meanwhile, High Court Bar Association strongly condemned the attempt to murder charges against the JKLF chief and its other
Meanwhile, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq strongly denounced “the dictatorial approach” adopted by the authorities against the resistance leadership in Kashmir stating that “booking pro-freedom leadership in fake and fabricated cases has become the norm deserving severe condemnation”.
In a joint statement issued JRL while condemning the arrest of JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik and seven other resistance leaders that include Mushtaq Ahmed Dar, Muhammad Haneef Dar, Shakir Ahmed Ahanger, Fayaz Ahmed Lone, Imtiyaz Ahmed Dar, Imtiyaz Ahmed Ganai and Basharat Ahmed Bhat who have been slapped with draconian sections that include 149, 148, 353,336, 307, 152, 147, 427 and 128 while being under continuous detention, said that leveling of these fake changes by the state authorities against resistance leadership is nothing but sheer political vendetta and harassment.
Referring to the ridiculous charges leveled against Yasin and his associates , the JRL said that “one fails to understand how can a peaceful and unarmed march to protest civilian killings be termed as an ‘attempt to murder of policemen’ when the police itself armed with guns and ammunition prevents that peaceful assembly by using teargas canisters and other violent means to disperse people causing them injury”.
While quoting a couple, “hum ah bhi kartay hai tou ho jatay hain badnaam, wo qatl bhi kartay hai tou charcha nahi hota (We are blamed even for letting out a sigh, And they get away even with a murder) ”, the leadership said that “it was extremely unfortunate that the police not only assists the forces but is busy framing fake and fictitious charges against the resistance leadership, activists and common Kashmiris”.
“To divert attention from the massacre in Pulwama, police is now slapping the pro-freedom leaders with the charges they never committed, because in this land of impunity for the aggressor they (police) know they can get away with murder,” the JRL statement said.
JRL also strongly condemned the solitary confinement of resistance leader Asiya Andrabi in the notorious Tihar Jail in Delhi where she is languishing along with her two aides, Nahida Nasreen and Fehmeeda Sofi. “Asiyaji is already suffering from multiple ailments and confining her to a small cell has further deteriorated her heath posing a great risk to her life,” the JRL statement said. “The authorities especially the GoI’s backed NIA has not been able to produce any substantial evidence against Asiya ji and yet adopts anti-human means to prolong her illegal detention which is extremely cruel and inhuman”.