Srinagar: NIA Court in New Delhi has awarded a lifer for 5 Kashmiri youth while 5 years imprisonment to one native from Valley.
All these six persons are currently lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail. These six persons were arrested in Kashmir Valley in different militant-related activities.
The verdict was given by Additional Sessions Judge National Investigating Agency (NIA) Court Patiala in New Delhi.
Confirming the verdict of the NIA Court, the Counsel for the convicted persons, Advocate Ume Salma told the news agency Kashmir News Trust [KNT] that they were expecting some mercy from the court that didn’t happen.
“We will appeal and approach the High Court and if the need arises the doors of the Supreme Court will also be knocked,” she said.
Advocate Ume Salma said that the convicts have been in jail for 3 to 5 years and as a reformative measure, they had pleaded guilty and were expecting some mercy from the Court.
“The Court of Additional Sessions Judge Shalinder Malik didn’t show any mercy. It was an initial stage and we expected the court will give an opportunity to convicts to reform themselves after they pleaded guilty. I should say it was a harsh verdict and we will go for an appeal as there are provisions and we are sure, convicts will get justice,” she said.
Those who have been awarded life imprisonment are Sajad Ahmed, Mehraj Chopan, Ishfaq Ahmed Bhat, Muzafar Ahmed Bhat and Bilal Ahmed while Tanveer Ahmed has been awarded 5 years imprisonment.
Advocate Ume Salma said that those who plead guilty are given minimum punishment but the NIA Court contrarily awarded maximum punishment to 5 out of these 6 persons and they will contest this verdict in the High Court.
Meanwhile, the family members of one of the convicts, Mehraj Chopan from Handora Tral staged a protest in Srinagar making a fervent appeal to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to look into the matter and have mercy on them.
“My 22-year-old brother was arrested in 2018 and since then we haven’t seen him. He is languishing in Tihar Jail and yesterday we came to know he has been awarded life imprisonment. We appeal LG Sahab to intervene and have mercy on them. My incarcerated brother is the father of two kids including a baby girl and he was the sole bread earner for the family,” Shameema, one among the six sisters of Mehraj told KNT.