1971 Hijacking Case: Court records Hashim’s statement

SRINAGAR: The court of principal district and session’s judge Srinagar on Saturday recorded statement of Hashim Qureshi after a questionnaire based on prosecution evidence was put to him in Ganga Hijacking case of 1971.

Qureshi is accused in Ganga Hijacking case and was present in the court today to get his explanation recorded before it under section 342 of CrPC.

The accused has to now decide whether he will lead defense evidence or straightway go for the arguments in the matter. The case has been listed for arguments on November 23.

Advocate Reyaz Khawar the counsel for Qureshi said that on November 2, the court had granted him a week to file response.

“Since the explanation from our client has been recorded by the court we will decide whether to lead defense evidence or straightway go for arguments on the next date of hearing,” advocate Khawar said.

The court had put questionnaire to Qureshi who was present in the court. However, Qureshi’s lawyer had sought a week’s time to file response to this questionnaire which was granted to him.

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, even getting 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. 

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