Kashmiri Youth In TN Gets Life For 'Waging War On India'

15 July 2008
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: A Tamil Nadu court has sentenced a Kashmiri youth to life imprisonment for waging war against India, and imposed a fine of Rs 12,000 on him. Azad Ahmad Qureshi, a 29-year-old resident of Nauhatta, Srinagar, had been arrested by the local police in the Madnapalli area of Chitwar district of Tamil Nadu on July 3 last year. According to public prosecutor Shiv Ram Reddy, Qureshi was arrested while visiting a female acquaintance in Tamil Nadu, and sent to the Kudappa Central jail on judicial remand. According to the prosecutor, Qureshi had been working as a leather dealer in New Delhi from 1993 to 1999 during which he started functioning with the militant group, Islamic Front, active in Kashmir. In 2001, Azad had been arrested in Delhi on charges of planting a bomb, and a pistol and some hand grenades were said to have been recovered from him. Reddy said that Qureshi was held under detention from 2001 to 2006, after which he crossed over to Pak-administrated-Kashmir and managed to establish contact with the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. Reddy claimed that Qureshi received arms training for about 8 months, and returned to Delhi last year truing to get in touch with a female acquaintance. On learning that she had left for Chitwar, Qureshi headed for Madnapalli where he was arrested, the lawyer said. Phone numbers of militants in Pak-administered-Kashmir were found on him at the time of his arrest, he said. The prosecutor claimed that the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba had deputed Qureshi on gathering information about economically significant cities like Bangalore. Qureshi’s case was being heard by the court of the additional district judge, Madnapalli, which issued the final verdict on Monday after 357 days of his incarceration. Qureshi was handed down a life sentence and a fine of Rs 12,000. He will have to serve an additional three months in prison in case he fails to pay the fine.