Separatist groups in Kashmir Valley were hoping that Dr. Rubaiya Sayeed would turn hostile in the three-decade-old her own kidnapping case but the sister of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti identified the prime accused Yasin Malik and three others involved in the high-profile abduction case of the year 1989.
Dr. Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of a political stalwart of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, identified the chairman of banned the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik and three of his associates as her kidnappers in a special CBI designated court on Friday.
"The statement of witness Rubaiya Sayeed was recorded in Court. She has identified Yasin Malik and three other kidnappers who kidnapped her in 1989. She has identified four accused in total" Monica Kohli, lawyer, who appeared on behalf of CBI in the Court told media persons.
Rubaiya, who reached Jammu from Chennai to record her statement as a prime witness, identified the then JKLF terrorist Yasin Malik and three others including Merajuddin Sheikh, Manzoor Ahmad Sofi, and Mohammad Zaman Mir, as the accused who had allegedly spotted, followed, and kidnapped her from outside Srinagar's major maternity hospital, Lal Ded Hospital, when she worked there as a doctor.
Separatists were hoping contradictory statement from Rubaiya
As per reports in a section of the media, many separatist groups were hoping that Rubaiya Sayeed will turn hostile and record a contradictory statement as a prime witness to give some benefits to her kidnappers.
"Identifying Yasin Malik and three other kidnappers by Rubaiya Sayeed is a big achievement for us. Rubaiya stick to her statement whatever she had deposed before the CBI. She has identified everybody", Monika Kohli said.
"She was shown the photographs of alleged kidnappers and she identified them. This is a step forward for the prosecution of Yasin and other accused in the case," Kohli exuded confidence.
Rubaiya Sayeed's kidnapping case
Exactly six days after her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed became the first Muslim Home Ministry of the country, Dr. Rubaiya Sayeed was kidnapped by some terrorists from a Matador vehicle from Nowgam on December 8, 1989. She was returning home from the Lal Ded Hospital where she was a medical intern at that time.
Her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was inducted as Home Minister in the government headed by then Prime Minister VP Singh on December 2, 1989.
Rubaiya was released on 13 December 1989 after some developments and in exchange for her release, five terrorists namely Hamid Sheikh, Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Noor Mohammad, Javid Ahmad Zargar, and Sher Khan were released.
The release of five terrorists led to a massive celebration across the Kashmir Valley, particularly in Srinagar city.
Worries ahead for Yasin Malik
Already facing life imprisonment in a terror funding case worries ahead for Yasin Malik after Rubaiya Sayeed identified him as the prime accused.
On May 25, a special NIA court sentenced Malik to life imprisonment in a terror funding case. Although the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had demanded the death penalty for Yasin Malik, the Court awarded life imprisonment and a fine to the tune of Rs 10 lakh to the separatist leader of the Valley.
Special Judge Praveen Singh at Delhi's Patiala House Court had also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Malik, who had earlier pleaded guilty to all the charges, including those under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The trial of the IAF personnel killings case of CBI in TADA Court Jammu may take two more years to complete. A death sentence is quite possible in that case.