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NIA Court Orders Framing of Charges Against Detained Kashmiri Separatist Leaders
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NIA Court Orders Framing of Charges Against Detained Kashmiri Separatist Leaders

Framing of charges has been ordered against Masarat Alam Bhat, Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Pakistan based against Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.


SRINAGAR — The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court has ordered framing of charges against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, Kashmiri separatist leaders including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam and others under various sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in a case pertains to the terrorist and secessionist activities that disturbed the State of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The Court also ordered framing of charges against Kashmiri politician and former MLA Rashid Engineer, Businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Bitta Karate, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Avatar Ahmad Shah, Naeem Khan, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, alias Peer Saifullah and several others under various sections of Indian Penal Code and UAPA including criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country, unlawful activities, etc. NIA special Judge Praveen Singh in an order passed on March 16 said, “the above analysis reflects that the statements of witnesses and documentary evidence have connected almost all the accused with each other and to a common object of secession, to the commonality of means they were to use, their close association to terrorist/terrorist organizations under the guiding hand and funding of Pakistani establishment”. 

Court noted that, during the course of arguments, none of the accused has argued that individually they do not have a secessionist ideology or agenda or that they have not worked for secession or advocated for the secession of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir from the Government of India. 

Witnesses after witnesses have deposed that APHC, its factions after division and the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had only one object and that was the secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Government of India. 

Witnesses have connected accused Shabir Shah, Yasin Malik, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate to All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and JRL. Another witness has connected Er. Rashid to Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali who in turn is closely intertwined with APHC and Pakistani establishment/ agencies, the Court noted. 

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However, Court also clarified that whatever has been expressed in this order is a prima facie opinion although, a detailed discussion of the evidence had to be done because the arguments were advanced by both sides in much detail. 

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