National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Thursday while praising Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik said he is ready to die but not to surrender before Delhi for the sake of self-respect of Kashmiris. “Yasin Malik despite being severely ill is languishing in jail because he is advocating a dialogue with India but is not willing to sell self-respect of Kashmiris. He has preferred death over surrender. I congratulate him for that,” Abdullah said. He said this addressing an election rally in Devsar area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Hitting out at separatists Abdullah said, the election boycott will not serve any purpose. “The separatists have only led Kashmir towards death and destruction and today the NIA is after them,” he said.
Earlier, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti sought immediate release of JKLF chief Yasin Malik. While speaking to media, Mufti said, ''Yasin Malik (Kashmiri Separatist) should be released immediately as he is really unwell. Also, other members of Jamaat-e-Islami should be released. Sadhvi Pragya on whom there are several serious accusations, has been set free.''
JKLF chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with alleged terror funding case was sent to judicial custody till May 24 by Delhi court on Wednesday. The court had earlier sent Malik to NIA custody. He was brought to New Delhi after a court in Kashmir granted his transit remand to the National Investigation Agency.
Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal also sought reply from the defence counsel on a plea of Tihar jail authorities seeking to produce Malik through video conference due to security concerns.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has reserved its judgment on a CBI plea for reopening three-decade-old cases in which Malik was an accused.
Malik was detained by the Jammu and Kashmir police from his residence in Srinagar on February 22 and was shifted to the Kothibagh police station. The detention came two days after the state administration said the security of 18 separatist, including Malik, would be withdrawn. The JKLF leader on Thursday termed the announcement a "lie".