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In a First, Pak Resident Convicted Under UAPA Charges in Kashmir
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In a First, Pak Resident Convicted Under UAPA Charges in Kashmir

This is the first conviction among 2500 UAPA cases registered till date in Kashmir. Three others, all locals, have been acquitted after eight years of trial in the same case.


SRINAGAR — In a first, a foreigner has been convicted under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Srinagar.

On Thursday, the court convicted Mohammad Zubair Illahi alias Talha, son of Muhammad Sadiq, a resident of Multan area of Pakistan under the UAPA and Foreigners Act in connection with an attack on paramilitary CRPF personnel in Bemina area of Srinagar city eight years ago. 

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Announcing the punishment to Illahi, the court observed that he is a resident of Pakistan and had illegally crossed over to India without any valid documents and was held guilty for the commission of Offence U/s 14-A(b) of the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Secondly, the court observed that it has also not been established that the accused had entered the territory of the Union of India on any tourist visa or to perform any religious obligations. “But it has been proved that he had entered or crossed into the territory of the Union of India with intention, aim and motive to commit unlawful activities.”

The Special Judge of NIA Srinagar, Manjeet Singh Manhas held the accused guilty under 13-B of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, (UAPA)1967 and 14-A, of Foreigners Act, 1946 and awarded Illahi imprisonment of nine years and a fine of 10000 Indian rupees. 

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has booked over 2,500 people in more than 1200 cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, since 2019. Of these, 46 per cent of those booked under UAPA are still in jail, both inside and outside J&K.

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Urfy Mir, a senior lawyer based in Kashmir said that Illahi failed to explain and prove the reason for his presence in India and the court was not convinced by his argument. Also under “13 B of UAPA” his presence in India without the passport, visa and other legal documents proved that he was here for some unlawful activity.” “That’s why besides the Foreigners Act he is also convicted under the UAPA,” she said.

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This is not the first time that a foreigner is convicted under the Foreigners Act here but this is the first conviction among 2500 UAPA cases registered till date in Kashmir, she added.

In the same case, the court acquitted other three accused locals, Bashir Ahmad Mir son of Mir Zaman Mir, a resident of Dachi Uri, Syed Mukhtar Hussain Shah son of Syed Mohammad Hussain Shah a resident of Nambla, Uri and Pradeep Singh son of Bopinder Singh a resident of Kansipora, Baramulla.

All of them were accused in the same case and were acquitted after eight years of the trial. The prosecution failed to bring any evidence against the trio and prove the charges beyond any shadow of a doubt.

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“The prosecution has failed to bring home the guilt and prove the charges beyond any shadow of doubt with regard to the accused as such, they are hereby acquitted of the charges framed against them,” the court said in its judgement.

In the attack, five CRPF men were killed and many were injured. Two unidentified militants were also killed in the firefight with the government forces.

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