Srinagar: Prominent Srinagar-based lawyer Babar Qadri was Thursday shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Hawal area of the city, police officials said. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Qadri, a resident of Srinagar’s Hawal area, had been practicing law in Jammu and Kashmir for more than a decade.
Dr Farooq Jan, medical superintendent at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), confirmed Qadri’s death.
“He was brought dead with multiple gunshot wounds. One of the bullets had hit near his eye and another on his arm,” Jan said. The superintendent added that he was brought to the hospital around 7 pm.
Srinagar Superintendent of Police Haseeb Mughal said police teams had been sent to the location where the attack took place and a massive manhunt launched to find the shooters.
Qadri, who was a student activist, became well-known for taking up cases of juveniles booked under various state government laws such as the Public Safety Act (PSA). He was a regular on TV news channel panels and was invited as an expert on Kashmir affairs by several national broadcasters.
Following the attack, security in various parts of Srinagar was stepped up.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah condemned the attack and said Qadri’s death was a “tragedy”.
The assassination of Babar Qadri this evening is tragic & I unequivocally condemn it. The sense of tragedy is all the more because he warned of the threat. Sadly his warning was his last tweet. @BabarTruth
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 24, 2020
Apni Party vice-president Ghulam Hassan Mir condemned the killing, and issued a statement saying the attack was “inhuman and barbaric”.
“The killing of a young and promising lawyer, who represented members of the poorest, most marginalised parts of Kashmir at all the forums available to him, including many of the victims of conflict and their families, has a devastating impact on access to justice in Kashmir,” he said.
Mir also said that the lawyer’s death would result in many victims of the conflict losing their voice. “We have been reiterating this fact that violence begets violence and use of gun will never achieve anything.”
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