According to official sources, India’s top anti-terrorism investigation agency has requested the death penalty for Yasin Malik, chief of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), after he received a life sentence. Last year, the JKLF leader pleaded guilty to funding the separatist movement but refused to accept a government-appointed lawyer or to defend himself against the charges. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had previously sought the death penalty, but the court rejected the plea, citing that capital punishment was reserved for crimes that “shocked the collective consciousness” of society. The NIA has now filed a petition in the High Court to seek the death penalty for Malik, as confirmed by a senior official in Srinagar. The hearing for the petition is scheduled for Monday.
In 1989, JKLF led the armed resistance in India-held Kashmir, and in response, India launched a military campaign resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and troops. Malik ceased armed resistance in 1994 and has since campaigned peacefully for independence.