Advocate Babar Qadri murder case: J&K Police searches residences, offices of three lawyers

The former president of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association and senior advocate Mian Qayoom was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday in connection with the killing of TV panelist and advocate Babar Qadri.

Senior Kashmir advocate and separatist leader Mian Qayoom, who earlier remained president of the High Court Bar Association in Kashmir for several terms and represented this organization in the separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference for a long time, has been arrested by J&K Police.

The State Investigation Agency of the J&K Police is investigating the assassination of Babar Qadri, who was killed by terrorists in September 2020.

"All angles of the case are being investigated and once we have any further detail, it will be shared accordingly," a Kashmir-based news agency reported, quoting police sources.

Terror attack
Security forces in the ground where terrorist attacked unarmed police officersocial media

Outspoken advocate was killed by terrorists in September 2020

In his 40s, Babar Qadri, an excellent speaker, was shot dead at his Srinagar home on September 24, 2020, by two terrorists posing as clients.

In the days leading up to his death, Babar Qadri had been afraid for his life. His last tweet, posted on September 21, 2020, urged the police to book a Facebook user, Shah Nazir, for spreading rumours that he worked for security agencies. This could lead to a "threat to my life," the advocate wrote.

According to his Facebook profile, Shah Nazir is self-employed as a contractor and lives in Srinagar. On September 24, the day he was shot, Babar Qadri posted a video on Facebook in which he criticized the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association and its president, Mian Abdul Qayoom.

"When I look at Mian Qayoom's role since 1990 in Jammu Kashmir High Court Bar Association, politics has been only carried on the basis of threats and pressures," says Babar Qadri in the video. "Why can't we do politics honestly and with dignity?" He declared that he was not afraid of the consequences of criticizing the association.

In January 2019, Babar Qadri had floated his own political party, naming it the All Jammu and Kashmir People's Justice Party.

In August 2021, SIT was constituted to probe Qadri's killing

In August 2021, a special team from the state police charged five suspects in connection with his murder. When security forces killed Abbas Sheikh, the chief commander of The Resistance Front (TRF)—a proxy group for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)—and his deputy Saqib Manzoor in September, Kashmir Police revealed that Saqib Manzoor was also implicated in Qadri's murder.

A case vide FIR number 62/2020 U/S 302 IPC 7/27 IAA 13/16/18/20/39 UA PA was registered at P/S Lalbazar Srinagar.

Earlier, Qayoom and two other advocates were searched by police

In August 2022, the Jammu and Kashmir Police conducted searches at the residence and office of three lawyers, including former J&K High Court Bar Association (JKHBA) president Mian Qayoom, in connection with the murder of outspoken Kashmiri lawyer Babar Qadri.

Searches were conducted at premises linked to lawyers, Miyan Qayoom, Manzoor Dar, and Muzaffar in connection with Babar Qadri's murder.

Searches were carried out in view of "certain new evidence" that has turned up and that they "have the potential to unravel the conspiracy part in the killing".

Police claimed that digital devices, bank statements, property sale agreements, 'suspicious books', and other relevant material were seized during the searches.