Sajad seeks Malik’s ‘fair trial’, demands probe in ‘1987 election rigging’

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Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone on Saturday said that incarcerated chief of banned Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik deserves a “fair trial” and also demanded a free and fair probe in 1987 elections.

Lone’s comments came a day after Malik, who is lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail, in his letter-cum-will, Malik, has written that they had supported Muslim United Front but the authorities declared the winners as losers and losers as winners.

Talking to a group of reporters, Lone alleged that New Delhi is covering up the “rigging” of 1987 elections, which, he said, was the main source of all killings in Kashmir.

“Was Yasin Malik born with a gun in hand or did the situation compelled him to do so? I want to ask the Government of India why they want to cover-up the rigging of 1987. Why do they want to shield the National Conference? The youngsters who protested against denial of democracy in 1987 are either in graves or jail,” Lone said.

He asked why New Delhi is not holding a probe in 1987 “electoral fraud” when its agencies like NIA are investigating decades-old minor cases in Kashmir.

Malik in his letter claimed that in 1987 he was tortured and kept in detention centre after being picked up from an election counting center then.

“I was apprehended and arrested from the vote counting station. I was remanded to the RED-16 interrogation centre where thanks to the torture, unhygienic meals and contaminated and stale water, my blood got infected,” Malik writes.

“Subsequently I was shifted to the Police Hospital where one of my heart valves got affected. Hundreds of members of our organization including myself were detained under the Public Safety Act. I landed up spending the entire year of 1987 in jail,” Malik further writes.

Lone said his party doesn’t agree with Malik’s thinking but he deserves a fair trial.

He also criticized PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti after she said that her sister did her duty by identifying Malik as one of her kidnappers in 1989.

“Mehbooba doesn’t have the right to talk about reconciliation and dialogue,” he said.

Malik is on a hunger strike in the Tihar jail here, officials said on Saturday.

While jail officials refused to comment on the reason behind Malik’s hunger strike, sources said he alleged that he was not getting a fair trial.(KNO)

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