Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir): Rubaiya Sayeed, the sister of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Muft and daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, on Friday appeared before a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here to record her statement in the 1989 kidnapping case.
Rubaiya Sayeed appeared before the court for the first time in the case. The next date of hearing for the case has been given on August 23 and Rubaiya has been told to appear on that date also.
Rubaiya Sayeed has identified JKLF terrorist Yasin Malik as one of the abductors in her kidnapping in 1989. Rubaiya Sayeed identified four persons connected with the case in a TADA court in Jammu today, which included Malik.
Rubaiya Sayeed is the daughter of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who was the union home minister in the VP Singh government when she was kidnapped by the terrorists. She was then released after other terrorists were released in her exchange.
Advocates who attended the hearing confirmed that Sayeed recorded statement in the court today, and she was able to identify everyone on the basis of photographs that were made available to her during the investigation by the CBI.
CBI lawyer Monica Kohli informed that Rubaiya has identified Yasin Malik and three others, and the next date of hearing has been fixed on 23rd August.
Notably, Rubaiya Sayeed was abducted by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) militants on December 8, 1989. Yasin Malik, who is serving life imprisonment in Tihar Jail in a terror funding case, is an accused in this case along with others.
“The statement of witness Rubaiya Sayeed was recorded in court today. She has identified Yasin Malik. The next date of the hearing is on August 23. She has identified four accused in total,” CBI lawyer Monica Kohli told ANI.
According to senior advocate and PDP spokesperson Anil Sethi, Yasin Malik also appeared in the case today through video conferencing. He has also requested to physically appear in Jammu in this case.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in May this year awarded life imprisonment to separatist leader Yasin Malik in a terror funding case.
The NIA court while sentencing Malik to life imprisonment also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh.He was sentenced to life imprisonment twice. NIA had sought the death penalty for the separatist leader who was convicted on May 19.
Malik had told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him.
It may be recalled that chief of banned JKLF Yasin Malik on Wednesday requested a special court here for physical appearance in a case related to the kidnapping of former chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya, failing which he would sit on an indefinite hunger strike, officials said.
They said that Malik, who is undergoing a life sentence in a militant-funding case, appeared before the court through video conference.
Malik said he has written to the government for a physical appearance before the court. He also informed the court that he has requested for cross examination of witnesses himself and said he would sit on hunger strike if his request was not accepted by the government.
The case pertains to the kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed on December 8, 1989. She was freed from captivity five days later on December 13 after the then V P Singh government, supported by the BJP at the Centre, released five militants from the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in exchange.
The case had gone into virtual cold storage and was revived after Malik was picked up by the National Investigation Agency in 2019 on charges of terror funding.
In January last year, the CBI, with help from special public prosecutors Monika Kohli and S K Bhat, framed charges against 10 people, including Malik, in the Rubaiya kidnapping case that turned out to be a turning point in the Valley’s volatile history.