Political leaders blast push for Kashmiri separatist leader to get death sentence

One day after India's top anti-terrorism investigation agency sought the death sentence for Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, on Saturday many political leaders, including a former chief minister of the region, blasted the move.

Mehbooba Mufti, the last elected chief minister of the region and the leader of a regional party, said that in a democracy like India, where even the assassins of a prime minister were pardoned, the case of a political prisoner like Yasin Malik must be 'reviewed and reconsidered.'

Mufti wrote on Twitter that 'those gleefully supporting his hanging' are a 'grave threat to our collective rights.'

Sarah Hayat Shah, a spokesperson of National Conference, one of the oldest parties of the region, said that Malik deserves a 'fair trial,' adding that the death penalty will benefit no one.

In a long note, Sajad Lone, head of the People's Conference regional party, said seeking a death sentence for Malik is 'dangerous.'

He implored the Indian government to 'let Kashmiris live in peace.'

'We need oxygen from the rest of the country, as we are gasping for political breath. We cannot afford Kashmir being the oxygen for political landscape in the rest of the country,' he said, also decrying what he called the 'hurry to execute' Malik.

Last year Malik was sentenced to life by an Indian investigative court. He had pleaded guilty without contesting the charges against him in a terror-funding case.

The fresh petition against Malik is due for a hearing on Monday.

Source: Anadolu Agency