Shutdown in parts of Kashmir ahead of court verdict on Yasin Malik : The Tribune India

Our correspondent

Samaan Lateef

Srinagar, May 25

Parts of Kashmir witnessed a spontaneous shutdown on Wednesday after separatist leader Yasin Malik was taken to court by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi.

Shops and other business establishments were closed in Lal Chowk and other parts of Srinagar when the NIA tribunal began hearing Malik’s case. However, public transport and private vehicles were operating normally.

Heavy contingents of police and paramilitary CRPFs have been deployed in sensitive areas of Srinagar to thwart any protests.

On May 10, Malik pleaded guilty to all charges, including those under the strict Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). He told the NIA court that he did not contest the charges against him.

The NIA has sought the death penalty for Malik, who was convicted in an activism fundraising case days ago after pleading guilty.

Previously, Malik had been brought before the court at Patiala House in a tight security environment. The hearing, interrupted during the lunch break, will resume later.

On May 19, Special Judge Praveen Singh released the case for May 25 to hear arguments regarding the quantum of the sentence for the offenses against Malik.

The court had also ordered NIA authorities to assess its financial position in the terrorist financing case ahead of Wednesday’s hearing. At the last hearing, Malik had withdrawn his lawyer. Since he had pleaded guilty earlier, there was nothing to hear during the hearing.

He was accused of fomenting a criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country, other illegal activities and disturbing the peace in Kashmir.

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