Court Gives 1971 IA Hijacker Week to Respond

SRINAGAR: The Principal District and Session’s judge today granted a weeks time to Hashim Qureshi to file a response to a questionnaire put to him after closure of prosecution evidence against him in Indian Airlines ‘Ganga’ hijacking case of 1971.

According to Syed Reyaz Khawar, counsel for the hijacker, the court put questionnaire to Qureshi who was present in the court. “We sought a week’s time to file response to this questionnaire which was granted to us. The court has now listed the matter for hearing on November 9,”   Khawar said.

After it closed the prosecution evidence against him, the court of Principal District and Session’s judge Srinagar had on October 19 listed Ganga Hijacking case of 1971, for recording of statement of Quereshi, the accused in the matter.

Sofar the court has recorded statements of 13 prosecution witnesses. Besides these 13, four prosecution witnesses died during course of trial. The Court is now scheduled to record the statement of Hashim Quereshi, president Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Liberation Party who will be read out the summary of prosecution evidence against him.

Qureshi served a nine-year jail term in Pakistan, after which he went to the Netherlands where he remained for 20 years and even got citizenship of that country. His cousin remained in Pakistan after release from jail. On December 29, 2000, Qureshi was brought back to the Valley —- where he faces trial in the hijack case —- after his arrest in Delhi.

The Government subsequently appointed Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar as special judge to hear the case under Enemy Agents Ordinance, 2005. Advocate Reyaz Jan and Syed Reyaz Khawar represented the accused in the court. (KNS)

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