Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was on Friday charged under Prevention of Terrorism Act by a court for allegedly raising funds to strengthen militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
Additional Sessions Judge (Jammu) Sanjay Parihar of the designated court, charged Malik with raising $1,00,000 with the intention to strengthen the "armed activity" in Jammu and Kashmir in order to strike terror in the people of the state.
The JKLF chairman, who was present during the hearing at Jammu, pleaded not guilty to the charges and said he would stand for trial.
Although the POTA was repealed by the Jammu and Kashmir government in 2003, the cases registered under the Act prior to that year can still be tried under it, a senior state government lawyer said.
The judge in his two-page order said the charges were framed against Malik based on material evidence collected during the investigation and the confessional statements of the other two accused.
According to the charge sheet, Malik had allegedly convened a meeting at his JKLF headquarter in Maisum in March 2002 and deputed two persons -- Mushtaq Ahmad Dar and Shameema -- to collect $1,00,000, which had already been arranged, from Kathmandu.
Dar and Shameema were arrested by police at Kudh on March 24, 2002. The foreign currency was recovered from their possession.
The two accused were not present in the court as their lawyer pleaded that they could not reach Jammu due to closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.The judge directed their counsel to ensure presence of the duo on the next date of hearing (March 19) so that charges could be read out to them. When contacted, a JKLF spokesman said the charges against Malik were "false" and "baseless".