Yasin Malik virtually appears in court in killing of 4 IAF officers case

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Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik virtually appeared in a special court in Jammu on Wednesday in a case against him and his associates for allegedly gunning down four Indian Air Force (IAF) officers and wounding several others in Srinagar in 1990.

Malik and his associates have been identified by a witness as those who held guns with malicious intent when the four IAF officers were shot dead.

Malik and his associates are facing trial for having killed these IAF officers and injured several others in January 1990.

The court on 20 September issued Malik’s production warrants to the jail authorities after he sought to appear in person to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses in two cases related to the killing of four Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and the abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the then Union Home Minister Mufti Sayeed, in 1989.

The Tihar prison authorities cited directions from the home ministry and told the court that Malik cannot be produced before it in person. The court fixed 23 November as the next date for hearing the case related to IAF personnel.

Senior advocate SK Bhat, who appeared on behalf of the prosecution, said the Tihar jail superintendent informed the court that Malik’s travel to Jammu was not possible.

He added the superintendent said an appeal related to Malik’s sentence in the terror funding case is pending before the high court and he has to remain lodged in Tihar jail.

“The special judge accepted the plea. Malik was present virtually during the hearing. Now, he has to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses via virtual mode. Otherwise, his right to cross-examination will be closed,” said Bhat.

He said one of the witnesses identified Malik and his other associates as the ones who held guns with malicious intent when the IAF personnel were killed.

Bhat said the abduction case will be taken up on Thursday. Rubaiya Sayeed has been summoned. She may appear. Malik will be virtually present in that case also.

He said Malik has been given a fair trial and that the court offered legal aid but he refused.

The special court in March 2020 framed charges against Malik and six others for their alleged involvement in the killing of four unarmed IAF personnel in January 1990 at Rawalpora in Srinagar.

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