The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the plea of Ashiq Hussain Faktoo, Kashmir’s longest serving prisoner to reconsider his conviction. Faktoo is a Kashmiri separatist leader and a former member of terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and has been awarded life imprisonment for killing human rights activist H N Wanchoo.
Despite the fact that Faktoo had denied the charges that were forced on him and said that he was he was being focused on in view of his political convictions, the court still sentenced him to life detainment.
In prison, he completed his doctorate in Islamic studies. More than 125 students have completed their bachelors’ preparatory program, graduation, post graduation under his guidance.
He is married to an equally prominent separatist activist and Dukhtaraan-e-Millat (DM) chief, Syeda Asiya Andrabi.
Faktoo has the distinction of being the only Kashmiri militant to have completed his PhD while detention. He was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by the Department of Islamic Studies of the University of Kashmir.
Faktoo has been in the Srinagar Jail since 1993 and has served his sentence for over 20 years. The Jammu court had absolved him in 2001, yet the Supreme Court toppled this decision and held him blameworthy. After that as well, he persuaded the Supreme Court to re examine his conviction and life detainment.
The court turned down his petition straightaway saying that SC judgment could not be challenged by a writ petition. The bench then converted the writ petition to a review petition, which was heard in the open court.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which treated the writ petition of Faktoo as a review plea, said the “comprehension” of the accused that the earlier judgement was “erroneous” would not enable the court to “reopen” the entire case.