1989 kidnapping case: Rubaiya Sayeed identifies separatist leader Yasin Malik as her abductor

Dr. Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of former Union Home Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, on July 15 identified Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, 56, and three others as her abductors in the 1989 kidnapping case.

She was making her statement before a special CBI court in Jammu. The abduction led to the release of five jailed militants.

“When she made her statement (before the court) she categorically stated that he (Yasin Malik) is the one. She said he is the one and his name is Yasin Malik. When asked questions about Malik and photographs were shown, she specifically stated ‘I remember him categorically’,” advocate Monica Kohli told media.

Ms. Kohli said Ms. Sayeed in fact identified Mr. Malik as her main abductor. “Ms. Sayeed told the court that he (Malik) was the one who stated ‘Mini bus seay jaab utarna tha tou isse nay kaha, chup chap utroo nahin tou ghaseetkar utaray gay (When I was brought down from the mini bus, he was the one who said ‘get down otherwise you will be dragged out’),” Ms. Kohli said.

Ms. Sayeed, also sister of former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, has been asked to present herself before the court on the next hearing on August 23. Ms. Sayeed has preferred to stay outside J&K after the kidnapping incident and at present lives in Tamil Naidu.

Mr. Malik, who has not hired any counsel, is likely to cross examine the victim. Sources said a protection warrant has been issued for Mr. Malik.

Earlier, Mr. Malik had threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike in case he was not allowed to be physically present in the court. Ms. Sayeed was kidnapped on the evening of December 8 and held hostage till December 13, 1989. She was released in exchange for five known militants of the JKLF, including Hamid Sheikh, Altaf Ahmed Bhat, Noor Mohd Kalwal, Javed Ahmed Zarger and Sher Khan. The kidnapping case, which was put in a cold storage for almost three decades, was re-opened in January 2021 when a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court, Jammu, ordered framing of charges against Malik and nine others in the kidnapping. The court had said it was of the considered view that “sufficient grounds were existing for drawing prima facie presumption that the accused have committed offences under Sections 120-B read with Sections 368 RPC and Section 3/4 of TADA Act”. According to the CBI, several accused have already made confessional statements and disclosed their role, “which is found to be admissible in evidence under Section 15 of the TADA Act”.