Lawyer Murder: Ex-Chief of J-K HC Bar Association Remanded to Police Custody

In a significant development in the 2020 murder conspiracy of advocate Babar Qadri, Mian Abdul Qayoom, the former president of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, was remanded to police custody until July 1 by a special court on Wednesday.

Qayoom was arrested on Tuesday and was subsequently brought to Jammu from Srinagar for the proceedings. The special court, conducting in-camera sessions, decided against the police’s request for a 15-day interrogation period, instead granting custody till the start of July. The court also ordered that Qayoom be presented before a National Investigation Agency (NIA) judge on Monday.

During the proceedings, Qayoom contested the grounds of his arrest, a claim the police refuted by stating that the arrest and subsequent procedures were thoroughly documented and included in the case diary.

The case has attracted attention due to the high-profile nature of the accused and the victim. Qadri, a well-known human rights advocate and frequent media commentator, was murdered at his home in Srinagar in September 2020, having survived a previous assassination attempt in 2018. His advocacy often put him at odds with powerful figures within the bar association, including Qayoom.

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Qayoom, known for his affiliations with the All Party Hurriyat Conference and the banned Jamaat-e-Islami, has been a controversial figure in the region. His tenure as bar association president was marked by allegations of intimidation and violence. The case was moved from Srinagar to Jammu this January to ensure a fair trial amid concerns about local biases influencing the legal proceedings.

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