Mehbooba Mufti’s sister Rubaiya Sayeed has identified JKLF terrorist Yasin Malik as one of the abductors in her kidnapping in 1989. Rubaiya Sayeed identified four persons connected with the case in a TADA court in Jammu today, which included Malik.
Rubaiya Sayeed is the daughter of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who was the union home minister in the VP Singh government when she was kidnapped by the terrorists. She was then released after other terrorists were released in her exchange.
Advocates who attended the hearing confirmed that Sayeed recorded statement in the court today, and she was able to identify everyone on the basis of photographs that were made available to her during the investigation by the CBI. CBI lawyer Monica Kohli informed that Rubaiya has identified Yasin Malik and three others, and the next date of hearing has been fixed on 23rd August.
It is worth noting that Rubaiya is the sister of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and the daughter of late former Home Minister of India Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. Rubaiya Sayeed, who has remained reclusive over the years, appeared in court in person, making a rare appearance.
Anil Sethi, a PDP spokesperson & advocate, said, “She has identified Yasin Malik. She has identified all the abductors. Yes. I cannot reveal much because proceedings are in camera. Next hearing is on the 23rd. She has been asked to be present, depending on the availability of Yasin Malik. She has stood by her statement earlier made to the CBI.”
“The statement of witness Rubaiya Sayeed was recorded in court today. She has identified (Yasin Malik). 23rd August is the next date of hearing. She has identified 4 accused in total,” informed Monica Kohli, CBI lawyer.
On May 27, the Jammu TADA Court had summoned Rubaiya Sayeed in the case of her own kidnapping. Yasin Malik, who has already been imprisoned for life in a terror funding case, was also summoned around the same time.
1989 Rubaiya Sayeed Kidnapping case:
In the year 1989, Rubaiya was kidnapped by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which was headed by Yasin Malik. At that time, her father Mufti Mohammed Syed was the Home Minister of the country. JKLF had demanded the release of five of its member in exchange for Rubaiya’s release. Then J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah accepted their demands in agreement with the Centre, and the jailed militants were released.
JKLF had kidnapped her on gunpoint demanding the release of five of its members from jail. 23-year-old Rubaiya was working as a medical intern at Lal Ded Memorial Women’s Hospital at that time.
In a controversial decision, the Farooq Abdullah led Jammu and Kashmir government at that time had agreed to the demands and had released the jailed terrorists. While Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s other daughter Mehbooba Mufti joined active politics and went on to become the chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Rubaiya Sayeed had been out of limelight after her release by the kidnappers on 13 December 1989.
The kidnapping and the subsequent release of five terrorists by the government was a landmark event in the history of violence in Kashmir, as it had set the stage for heightened terror and separatist activists in the region. Many people believe that had the government acted tough, terrorism would not have flourished so much in the state. It is notable that Farooq Abdullah had claimed he was threatened by the central govt with dismissal if the jailed militants were not released in exchange of the union home minister’s daughter.
Yasin Malik imprisoned for life:
Meanwhile, in the month of May, Yasin Malik was awarded life imprisonment by a Delhi court in a terror funding case, saying that the crimes committed by him struck the “heart of the idea of India” and were intended to forcefully secede J&K from the Union of India. Rejecting NIA’s plea for capital punishment, Special Judge Praveen Singh awarded jail terms to Malik under offences of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the IPC.
“These crimes were intended to strike at the heart of the idea of India and intended to forcefully secede J&K from UOI. The crime becomes more serious as it was committed with the assistance of foreign powers and designated terrorists. The seriousness of the crime is further increased by the fact that it was committed behind the smokescreen of an alleged peaceful political movement,” the judge said. He was convicted under Section 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act) of the UAPA and Section 121 (waging war against the government of India) of IPC.