Kashmiri separatists and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti are mounting pressure on the government for release of the banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik.
Malik has been detained by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for questioning in the probe on terror funding as well as the case of killing of four IAF officers.
They are also demanding release of activists of the banned Jamaat-i-Islami.
Top Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday visited the Srinagar residence of Yasin Malik as a mark of solidarity with him. Mehbooba led a demonstration on Wednesday seeking release of Malik.
People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone, who enjoys support of the BJP, also came out in support of Malik.
“My thoughts are with Yasin Malik. He has had frail health all along which gets exacerbated with hunger strike. Hope investigating agencies understand Yasin Malik. Haven’t met him for a decade. Politics apart-have spent great moments with him,” he said in a tweet.
There were unconfirmed reports that the health of Malik has deteriorated during his detention by NIA at New Delhi.
Mirwaiz said that his safety and wellbeing is responsibility of the state under whose detention he is arrested and slapped with Public Safety Act (PSA).
A Delhi court recently sent Malik to judicial custody till May 24.
Malik’s JKLF is accused of having kidnapped Mehbooba’s sister Rubaiya Sayeed in 1989 and sought release of thirteen terrorists. Her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, at that time was Home Minister of India.
The then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah did not want to capitulate. But the Central government accepted their demands and freed the jailed terrorists.
Malik is also facing a case of killing of four unarmed IAF officers on 25 January 1990 in Srinagar. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has reserved its judgment on a CBI plea for reopening these three-decade-old cases in which Malik was an accused.
Mehbooba Mufti has drawn parallels between Malik and Sadhvi Pragya who has been set free despite “serious allegations against her”.
Separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani has warned that the centre shall have to face the “consequences” if any “untoward” happens to Malik.