Jammu, Oct. 14 (PTI): An anti-terror court here has sentenced Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen militant Shahid Latif to 16 years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs 40,000 for terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Latif, a resident of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, is a close associate of terror mastermind “Major” Mast Gul, who was involved in the Hazratbal shrine episode of the early 1990s.
The presiding officer of the court, P.. Razdan, passed the order yesterday.
Latif, however, will serve only half the time in jail and pay Rs 20,000 as fine because the term of eight years each under sections 3(3) and 3(5) of the defunct Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act will run concurrently.
Latif was arrested along with Giasudin of Baramulla district, who died during trial, by Gandhi Nagar police on November 12, 1994.
Razdan, in his 13-page judgment, said Giasudin’s statement showed that he and Latif were deputed by Jamiat commanders to carry out terrorist activities in Jammu area.
They had even identified the spot for a strike but were arrested before the plan could be executed, the judge said.
The court also observed that the prosecution’s evidence and the accused’s confessional statement made it evident that both the accused were active members of the banned Jamiat.
The statement of the witnesses and the accused, under Tada section 15, showed that both the accused were deputed to incite people’s communal sentiments so that they rebelled against both the Government of India and the state, the court said.
Razdan observed that the exhibition of video cassettes on the happenings at Hazratbal would have clearly roused people’s passions and hurt their religious sentiments.
After hearing the counsel for the accused and the deputy director, prosecution, the court said that the charges had been proved beyond any doubt.
It directed Latif’s deportation to PoK on completing the sentence.
Another court, too, had earlier sentenced Latif to imprisonment, on completing which he was sent back.
Subsequently, he crossed back over the border with Mast Gul and reached Srinagar, where the Hazratbal siege later occurred.