The cross-examination of witnesses in the three-decade-old cases of the gunning down of four Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and the abduction of then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's daughter Rubaiya Sayeed in Jammu and Kashmir began at a special court at Jammu on Saturday.
Yasin Malik, the chief of the banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), and six others were accused of the gruesome gruesome killing of four unarmed IAS officers in Kashmir in the year 1990.
Malik has been arrested in a terror funding case by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in the year 2019 and was lodged in Tihar Jail.
Malik joins proceedings through video-conferencing
Yasin Malik, who has been charged in both cases separately along with other accused, joined the proceedings through video-conferencing from Delhi's Tihar Jail.
The cross-examination was deferred after some time as many other accused could not appear in the court for what their counsels termed 'disturbance' in the Kashmir Valley.
Accused make excuse of the prevailing situation in Valley
Senior counsel Monika Kohli, who has been appointed as the CBI chief prosecutor in these cases, told International Business Times that the next date of hearing has been fixed on October 6 and 7.
"Yasin Malik appeared in the hearing through virtual mode", Kohli said and informed that other accused took the excuse of the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley to avoid today's hearing. He said that a prosecution witness in both the case was present during the proceedings.
Kohli has been representing the CBI as a retainer counsel in the high court for the last seven years and had successfully opened trial against Malik in the two sensational cases which had taken place in 1989-90 when terrorism erupted in the Kashmir Valley.
Reports said that Yasin Malik informed the court that he would like to cross-examine the witnesses himself and would not take any help from any lawyer.
The charges were brought against Malik and six others on March 16 last year in the killing of four IAF personnel on the outskirts of Srinagar on January 25, 1990.
Besides Malik, others accused charged in the killing of IAF personnel are Ali Mohammed Mir, Manzoor Ahmed Sofi alias Mustafa, Javed Ahmed Mir alias 'Nalka', Showkat Ahmed Bakshi, Javed Ahmed Zargar, and Nanaji.
- After a three-decade trial in both the cases was resumed on September 11, 2019, this year.
- On March 7, 2019, Malik was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) and was brought to Jammu from Srinagar and was shifted to Kot Bhawal Jail.
- After booking Malik under PSA, his organization JKLF was banned by the Centre under anti-terror law. Within days after banning his organization, Malik was shifted from Jammu to Tihar Jail.
- Malik was charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) before the TADA court in Jammu on August 31, 1990, in connection with the case.
- April 26, 2019, J&K High Court had rejected two petitions of Yasin Malik to shift cases registered him from TADA Court Jammu to TADA Court Srinagar.
- The TADA had allowed the appearance of Yasin Malik through video conferencing as Tihar Jail authorities had refused to present Malik in person due to instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs.