New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea of Kashmir's longest serving prisoner, Ashiq Hussain Faktoo, to reconsider his conviction and life term.
A top-ranking former commander of the Islamist outfit Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JM) and a separatist, Faktoo has been serving a life term on account of his alleged involvement in the murder of human rights activist Hridhay Nath Wanchoo in 1992 and has been in jail since 1993.
A Jammu court had acquitted Faktoo in 2001, but the Supreme Court overturned this verdict and held him guilty. He has spent more than 20 years in prison.
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.
During his detention, Faktoo joined as head of the Muslim League. His deputy, Massarat Alam, played arguably the most prominent role in a street agitation over Amarnath land row in Kashmir in 2008.
His wife Asiya Andrabi has openly called for Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.