JKLF chairman Yasin Malik, who initiated the 23-year armed insurgency in Kashmir, has warned that awarding life term, one after another, to Kashmiri separatists could lead to a “1990-type turmoil.”

Mr. Malik called a news conference on Monday, hours after the presiding officer of a designated TADA court in Jammu pronounced life imprisonment for two JKLF detenus — Nazir Ahmad Sheikh of Batmaloo and Showkat Ahmad Khan of Nishat.

He dismissed the judgment as “extension of the Indian political vendetta.” Claiming that both detenus are “innocent,” Mr. Malik said it was “alarming” that the courts had begun to award death sentences and life imprisonment to Kashmiris “one after another” since earlier this year. He called for a shutdown in the Valley on December 10 and asked people to stage a protest on the World Human Rights Day against the penalty of life imprisonment.

He said JKLF activists and supporters would stage a candlelight march from the organisation’s office at Maisuma to Lalchowk in the evening on December 7. He alleged that the authorities in New Delhi and Srinagar were forcing innocent and angry youth to pick up the gun and thus create a fresh spell of turbulence. “When we carry the gun, they [the Indian authorities] call for truce and invite us to talks. When we shun the path [of violence], they detain us and award us death sentences and life imprisonment.”

He said the JKLF activists would stage a protest and observe a token hunger strike in Srinagar and Rawalpindi on December 10.

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