On hunger strike in Tihar jail, Yasin Malik put on IV fluids, shifted to the medical investigation room

New Delhi: Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, who is on a hunger strike in Tihar Jail here for five days, is being given intravenous fluids and his health is being regularly monitored by doctors, officials said on Tuesday.

Malik (56), the head of the banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), began his indefinite hunger strike on Friday morning after the Centre did not respond to his plea that he be allowed to physically appear in a Jammu court hearing the Rubaiya Sayeed abduction case, in which he is an accused.

Malik, who was kept in solitary confinement in a high-risk cell in Tihar’s jail number 7, has been shifted to the prison’s Medical Investigation (MI) room where doctors are constantly monitoring his health status and updating officials about the same.

The JKLF chief is serving a life sentence in a terror-funding case.

“On Friday morning, Malik refused to eat anything. He is still on a hunger strike and his health is being regularly monitored by doctors. He is being given IV (intravenous) fluids since Sunday,” an official said.

Appearing before a special CBI judge through a video-conference, Malik had said he wanted to physically appear in the case related to the abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed, the daughter of then Union home minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, in 1989.

Malik had informed the court that he had written a letter to the government seeking his transfer to a Jammu jail so that he could physically appear in the case and contest the allegations against him.

He had said he would like to personally cross-examine the prosecution witnesses and would wait for a government nod till July 22. He had also said he would sit on an indefinite hunger strike inside the jail if his plea was not allowed.

Malik began his protest when he received no information from the government on his plea to shift him to any prison in Jammu.

Rubaiya Sayeed was allegedly abducted by the JKLF on December 8, 1989. She was freed from captivity five days later after the then V P Singh government at the Centre, supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), released five JKLF militants in exchange.

The JKLF chief was arrested in early 2019 in connection with a 2017 terror-funding case registered by the National Investigation Agency. Malik had pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced by a special NIA court in Delhi in May.–(PTI)