1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

India court jails Kashmiri separatist leader for life

May 25, 2022

Mohammed Yasin Malik told the court that the charges of terrorism against him were "concocted, fabricated and politically motivated."

Indien Neu Delhi | Gericht verkündet lebenslange Haftstrafe für Separatistenführer Yasin Malik
Kashmiri separatist leader Mohammed Yasin Malik in court in new Delhi in 2022. Image: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP

An Indian court has sentenced Kashmiri separatist leader Mohammed Yasin Malik to life in prison after finding him guilty of terrorism and sedition.

Malik had been arrested in 2019 and was convicted last week on charges of committing terrorist acts, illegally raising funds, belonging to a terrorist organization and criminal conspiracy and sedition.

He told the court he was a freedom fighter and used non-violent methods.

"The terrorism-related charges leveled against me are concocted, fabricated and politically motivated,'' he said.

"If seeking azadi (freedom) is a crime, then I am ready to accept this crime and its consequences,'' he told the judge.

Prosecutors wanted death sentence

Prosecutors had called for a death sentence, but this request was dismissed by the judge.

Ahead of Wednesday's sentencing, dozens of Kashmiris convened at Malik's home in Srinagar, the largest city in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Some marched through the streets, chanting "We want freedom" and "Go back India." Government forces fired tear gas in their direction, while the marchers threw stones. No injuries were immediately reported.

Who is Mohammed Yasin Mailk?

The 56-year-old was head of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a militant group that opposes Indian control. It renounced the armed struggle and moved to peaceful means in the 1990s under Malik's leadership.

India declared the JKLF an "unlawful association" in 2019.

Mostly Muslim Jammu and Kashmir has been under the control of the Indian government since British colonial rule ended in 1947.

Both Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India claim the territory. Malik has advocated for an independent government to take control.

Kashmir: CCTV order raises concerns over surveillance

jsi, er/rt (Reuters, AP, AFP)