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    Jammu KashmirFormer J&K HC Bar Association Chief Accused of Lawyer Murder

    Former J&K HC Bar Association Chief Accused of Lawyer Murder


    SRINAGAR, Jun 26: Mian Abdul Qayoom, a former president of the and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, was on Wednesday sent to police custody till July 1 by a special court in connection with the 2020 murder conspiracy of fellow advocate Babar Qadri.
    Qayoom, who was arrested on Tuesday and brought to Jammu from  Srinagar, appeared before the special court, which ordered his police remand during in-camera proceedings.


    Officials said the police requested a 15-day remand to interrogate Qayoom but the judge granted remand till July 1 and directed that he be presented before a designated Investigation Agency (NIA) judge, who is currently undergoing training, on Monday.
    During the hearing, Qayoom claimed that he was not informed about the grounds of his arrest. However, the claim was challenged by the police, which informed the court that the entire proceeding had been videographed and was part of the case diary.
    Accompanied by armed guards, Qayoom — a notable figure in Kashmir linked with the All Party Hurriyat Conference and the banned Jamaat-e-Islami — was escorted under tight security to the district court complex in Janipur.
    He was seen dressed in a white Pathani attire and wearing a mask, walking with a slight limp as he was moved to the State Investigation Agency (SIA) office for questioning regarding his alleged involvement in the conspiracy.
    Qadri, a human rights advocate who frequently appeared on television debates, was fatally shot at his residence in the Hawal area of downtown  Srinagar in September 2020. He had narrowly survived an assassination attempt in 2018.
    The officials suggested that Qadri's killing highlighted the use of violence to silence dissent within the bar association. Qadri had publicly questioned the legitimacy and actions of Qayoom in various speeches and social media posts.
    Qayoom's rise to prominence within the legal community was marred by allegations of intimidation, threats and violence for maintaining control over the association, which he allegedly treated as his personal domain.
    The case was transferred to a Jammu court from  Srinagar in January on grounds of ensuring a fair trial by the Jammu and Kashmir and High Court.
    The high court's decision had come in response to Qadri's father citing the reluctance of Srinagar-based lawyers to render assistance due to the involvement of influential figures.
    Qayoom, who is the father-in-law of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court judge Justice Javed Iqbal Wani, has been under scrutiny in multiple cases, including alleged grabbing of temple land and dishonouring the national flag.
    Throughout his career, Qayoom has been a vocal advocate for Kashmir's integration with Pakistan, employing tactics such as protests and incitement of violence to further his separatist agenda, leading to tensions in the region.
    His association with banned terror organisations and unlawful associations led by the likes of Yasin Malik, Asiya Andrabi and Syed Ali Shah Geelani raised concerns over his role in propagating a secessionist narrative in the Valley.
    With a track record of criminal cases, including charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Qayoom's confrontational approach towards the Indian government and judiciary drew criticism and scrutiny.
    The officials alleged that his actions have had far-reaching consequences, impacting businesses, livelihoods, and the overall stability of Jammu and Kashmir.
    His relentless pursuit of secessionist goals not only polarised communities but also drew attention to the unrest in the region.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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