JKLF chief Yasin Malik on hunger strike against NIA custody, ‘seriously ill’, alleges family

Yasin Malik in New Delhi after his remand was awarded to NIA. (PTI)

Yasin Malik, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief, is "very ill" after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his "illegal" detention by National Investigation Agency (NIA), his family has alleged. He has been shifted to a hospital in Delhi, they said.

"We had gone to Jammu to meet him (Malik), but when we reached there in the evening, we heard that he has been taken to Delhi. So we returned without meeting him. Since then, we are only in touch with his lawyer. The lawyer, Raja Tufail, was also not allowed to meet Malik," the family said while addressing a press conference.

Last week, Malik was arrested by the NIA after he was brought to New Delhi from Jammu, in a case related to the funding of terror and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He has been remanded in NIA’s custody till April 22 and was shifted to Delhi's Tihar Jail.

The family further said Tufail had to get court permission to meet the JKLF leader on Saturday. "It was then that they (NIA officials) were forced to tell him (lawyer) that Malik was very ill as he (Malik) had been on a hunger strike since April 10 and was admitted to a hospital on April 16. The jail authorities had not informed us about his health condition," they said.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed that the safety of the JKLF leader was the responsibility of the state and added: "Deeply disturbed by the sudden news about Yasin Malik being seriously ill and shifted to a hospital in New Delhi. As no one is allowed to meet him details are not yet known. His safety & well being is the responsibility of the state under whose detention he is arrested & slapped with PSA."

Malik was brought to the national capital after a special NIA court in Jammu gave the go-ahead for his custodial interrogation by the probe agency. The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu's Kot Balwal jail.

Malik, whose organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre, is also facing two CBI cases. These relate to the kidnapping of Rubaiya Saeed, daughter of the Union home minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, in 1989, and the killing of four IAF personnel in 1990.