Press Trust of india

Court issues bailable warrant against Rubaiya Sayeed for non-appearance in her abduction case

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Jammu: A special court here on Tuesday issued a bailable warrant against Rubaiya Sayeed, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, after she did not appear for cross-examination in a case related to her abduction by the JKLF in 1989.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, one of the accused in the case, appeared before the court from Delhi’s Tihar Jail via video conference.

He once again insisted on his physical appearance while turning down the court’s offer of legal aid or amicus, standing counsel for the CBI Monika Kohli said.

On July 15, Rubaiya had identified Malik and three others as the ones who took her captive.

Rubaiya was abducted near Lalla Ded Hospital on December 08, 1989 when her father was the Union home minister and 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 terrorists in exchange.

Rubaiya, who stays in Tamil Nadu, is listed as a prosecution witness by the CBI, which took over the investigation into the case in early 1990.

“Rubaiya had to appear before the court for cross-examination (on Tuesday) but she remained absent. The court has issued a bailable warrant against her to appear before the court on the next date of hearing on September 21,” the CBI counsel said.

Kohli said Malik once again pressed for physical appearance so that he could cross-question the witnesses in the case even as the court offered him legal aid or amicus which he declined to accept.

Malik, 56, is at present lodged in the high-security Tihar Jail after he was sentenced by a special NIA court in Delhi in May. He was arrested in early 2019 in connection with the 2017 “terror-funding” case registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

On the last hearing of the case, Rubaiya appeared in the court for the first time and identified Malik, who was present through video conference.

“This is the person and his name is Yasin Malik. He was the man who threatened me that he would drag me out of the minibus if I refused to follow their diktat,” Rubaiya had told the judge.

She later identified him again through the pictures that were exhibited in the court. The CBI had framed charges against 10 people, including Malik, in the case in January last year.

Malik observed a 10-day hunger strike from July 22 after the Centre did not respond to his plea for allowing him to physically appear in the Jammu court hearing the abduction case.

On Monday, while hearing the case related to the killing of four Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel in 1990, the court offered Malik legal aid but he turned it down and insisted on his physical appearance.

After the JKLF chief declined the offer of legal aid, the court asked him to submit his stand in writing on the next date of hearing in the third week of September.

Turning down his plea for physical appearance, the court said there were clear directions from the high court for producing the accused in all cases via video conference.

In March 2020, the special court had framed charges against the JKLF chief and six others in the case related to the killing of IAF personnel on the outskirts of Srinagar in January 1990.

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