The Narendra Modi regime in India appears set on a course to physically eliminate the illegally detained chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Muhammad Yasin Malik.
Held in the notorious Tihar Jail in Delhi, Malik announced that he would go on “a fast until death” from April 1, 2020, according to a report in the highly respectable Kashmir Media Service (KMS).
In a statement released by his family in Srinagar yesterday, Yasin Malik said that the Indian government had made a pledge with him that he would be provided genuine political space.
Further, that genuine efforts would be made for resolution of the Kashmir dispute through a meaningful dialogue process.
India, however, has reneged on this pledge.
India’s pledge was made in the presence of and with assurances from international diplomats, said his statement.
Following this pledge, JKLF abandoned its armed struggle in 1994 when the JKLF had more than 20,000 fighters under arms.
All charges against Yasin Malik were dropped in return for abandoning the armed struggle.
Further, he has been involved in non-violent political activities ever since, despite people under occupation having the legal, political and moral right to resist their occupiers by “whatever means necessary”.
The JKLF chairman faced criticism from different quarters in Kashmir. They accused him of abandoning the struggle for the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
Successive governments in India continued to abide by the agreement until the rise to power of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Modi.
Yasin Malik has now been charged with the 1990 killing of an Indian air force officer under the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (TADA) act.
If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.
This is what prompted the veteran Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Shah Gilani to express the fear that India was preparing the way to hang Yasin Malik.
The All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) Chairman, Syed Ali Shah Gilani said in a statement issued in Srinagar yesterday that “India was plotting to send Muhammad Yasin Malik to the gallows.”
He urged international institutions, human rights organizations and particularly the United Nations to take notice of the ordeal of illegally detained JKLF Chairman and play their role for the restoration of his rights.
These fears are not unfounded.
In February 1984, Maqbool Butt, another leader of the JKLF, was hanged in the notorious Tihar Jail, as was Afzal Goru.
The latter was not guilty of anything. The presiding judge said that he was sentencing Afzal Goru to death on popular demand!
Yasin Malik suffers from serious ailments including a serious heart condition and diabetes.
Sanitary conditions in the notorious Tihar Jail are appalling.
If he embarks on the hunger strike from April 1, his immune system would be seriously compromised.
There are fears that he may die in prison even before the bogus trial against him is concluded.
The trial judge in the TADA case is extremely prejudiced and Yasin Malik was refused permission to be present in court.
During the court proceedings against him, Malik said he was connected through a video link but he was neither able to hear the arguments of the lawyers, nor allowed to speak.
Based on this, he added that he had already withdrawn his counsel.
Yasin Malik deplored the judge’s attitude of refusing listen to him.
He said the judge was behaving like a prosecuting or police officer.
Only international pressure on the Modi regime can save Yasin Malik’s life.
Human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch can play an effective role in this regard.
So can the UN Human Rights Council.
Yasin Malik married Mashaal Mullick in 2009. They have a daughter, Raziya Sultana born in 2002 that he has not seen. He was arrested before their daughter was born.
The fascist regime of India must be stopped from its genocidal policy against the people of Indian occupied Kashmir as well as Muslims in the rest of India.