September 5, 2021 3:23:30 am
The cross-examination of prosecution witnesses in two 30-year-old cases — the abduction of then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya Sayeed and the killing of four IAF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir — began at a special TADA court here on Saturday.
The questioning, however, was put off as many of the accused persons were not present in court — their counsels attributed this to “disturbances” in Kashmir.
Abdul Rehman Sofi, a witness in both the cases, and Saleem alias Nanaji, an accused in the killing of IAF personnel, appeared in court. Yasin Malik, the chief of the proscribed Jammu and Kashmir Liberation front who is accused in both cases, joined via video conference from Tihar Jail in Delhi.
Malik has been in jail since 2019 following his arrest by the NIA in a terror funding case. Sources said he refused to take the help of any lawyer in the case and told the court that he would himself examine the witnesses.
The TADA judge fixed October 6-7 as the next date for cross-examination.
Militants had opened fire on the IAF personnel on the outskirts of Srinagar in January 1990. The CBI had filed a chargesheet in August 1990.
The charges against Malik and six others were framed on March 16 last year for murder, attempt to murder and multiple provisions of now defunct TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act). The other accused in the case are Ali Mohammad Mir, Manzoor Ahmed Sofi alias Mustafa, Javed Ahmed Mir alias Nalka, Showkat Ahmed Bakshi, Javed Ahmed Zargar and Nanaji.
In the case of the December 1989 abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed, the court had framed charges against Malik and nine others on January 11 this year.
The other accused are Ali Mohammad Mir, Mohammad Zaman Mir, Iqbal Ahmad Gandroo, Javed Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Rafiq Pahloo, Manzoor Ahmed Sofi, Wajahat Bashir, Mehraj-ud-Din Sheikh and Showkat Ahmad Bakshi.
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