Malik quizzed over sharing dais with Sayeed

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik who flew back to India from Pakistan on Saturday evening after sharing a platform with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Sayeed to protest last month’s hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, was questioned briefly by security agencies on his hob-nobbing with country’s most wanted man.

Malik boarded the Pakistan International Airlines (PK-270) from Lahore and landed at the Indira Gandhi international airport at 6:40 pm. Surprisingly, he did not come out of the flight after it was parked in a bay of the airport. Immigration officers walked up to the Kashmiri separatist leader to escort him out for a brief interrogation on his controversial meeting with Sayeed who has been making provocative speeches against the country even before Guru’s hanging. The security establishment does not rule out the recent twin Hyderbad blasts being a revenge terror strike.

After coming out of the airport, Malik complained to reporters asking: “What’s the crime I have committed? I neither invited him nor was I organising the protest rally. I was an invitee myself”. He was accompanied by Delhi University lecturer S A R Gilani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case.

The JKLF leader left it to the government to withdraw his passport due to expire on March 19. “I wonder why am I being targeted now. I had met Sayeed in 2006,” Malik confessed to reporters.

A group of protesting Shiv Sainiks attempted to hit him but were foiled by the police. On his reaction to the possible move to his questioning by police, Malik replied “let me rot in jail” but repeated the separatist stand on Kashmir issue.

Malik is alleged to have met Sayeed several times in the past but did not attract the notice of the UPA government which now wants to send a stern message across to the Hurriyat Conference leaders that they cannot mess up with the nation’s security interests, said home ministry sources. 

A frequent traveller to the hostile neighbouring country to meet his Islamabad-based wife Mushal, Malik had to return to India as the validity of his passport was about to expire. Unlike others, Kashmiri separatist leaders are issued passports with one-year validity only.

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