JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik appeared before a special court here via videoconferencing on Thursday in connection with the 1989 kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of then Union Home minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Chief Prosecutor Monika Kohli told reporters, “Malik was to be produced in court as per the production warrant. He appeared virtually.” She added that Malik, who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail in a terror financing case, was not produced physically due to a Ministry of Home Affairs order restricting his movement.
Rubaiya did not appear for the hearing after filing an exemption application. “It was approved by the court, so she did not appear,” Kohli said.
During the last hearing on July 15, Rubaiya had identified five accused, including Malik, and “the question of identifying the accused again today (on Thursday) was never there”, Kohli said.
Malik on Thursday once again insisted on physical appearance to cross-examine the witness.
Rubaiya was abducted from near Lal Ded Hospital on December 8, 1989. She was freed five days later after the then VP Singh government, supported by the BJP, released five terrorists in exchange.
Now living in Tamil Nadu, Rubaiya is listed as a prosecution witness by the CBI, which took over the case in early 1990.
Malik (56) is lodged in Tihar Jail after he was sentenced by a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in May. He was arrested in early 2019 in connection with a 2017 terror financing case registered by the NIA.
Malik had observed a 10-day hunger strike from July 22 after the Centre did not respond to his plea to physically appear in the Jammu court hearing in the abduction case.
The next hearing in the case is on November 24.(PTI)