Police Remand Extended for Former JK HC Bar Association Chief in Lawyer’s Murder Case

In a significant development in the murder case of advocate Babar Qadri, the former president of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Mian Abdul Qayoom, saw his police remand extended by six more days. The extension was granted by a designated NIA court in Jammu on Monday, citing the need for further investigation.

Qayoom, aged 76 and a prominent figure associated with the All Party Hurriyat Conference, was arrested on June 25 for his alleged involvement in the 2020 murder conspiracy of Qadri, a human rights expert who was fatally shot at his residence in Srinagar.

During the court session, Third Additional District and Sessions Judge (TADA/POTA) Jatinder Singh Jamwal emphasized that the investigation was still in its early stages, necessitating further detention of Qayoom to enable thorough interrogation and information extraction. The judge stated, “The further detention in the custody of the police is imperative as the investigation agency is required to be afforded an opportunity to elicit all the possible information from the accused for further progress of the investigation.”

Despite Qayoom’s opposition to the remand extension and concerns about his health condition requiring regular insulin treatments, the court mandated his custody until July 6 while ensuring he receives the necessary medical care.

The prosecution argued that Qayoom was not fully cooperating with the investigation, which hindered the gathering of critical information. The court also dismissed the defense’s claims regarding the transfer of the investigation to the State Investigation Agency (SIA) by the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, marking a contentious point in the legal proceedings.

Qayoom, who has been practicing law for over 40 years, personally argued against the extension, citing his consistent cooperation with the investigative process since being summoned on January 20. He also noted that the trial proceedings had substantially progressed since the case’s inception in 2020.

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Babar Qadri, known for his advocacy and frequent television appearances, was a vocal human rights expert. His assassination in September 2020 followed a previous attempt on his life in 2018. In August 2022, police raids on Qayoom’s and other lawyers’ residences led to the seizure of digital devices and documents, intensifying the investigation.

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