Kashmir lawyers protest against summoning of Bar president

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Srinagar—Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA) Tuesday held a protest march in Kashmir capital Srinagar against the summoning of its president Mian Abdul Qayoom by National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The lawyers donning the black and white uniform raised slogans against the NIA. They were carrying banners condemning the move. They termed the NIA move “a ploy to supress the voice of people”.

The protesting lawyers marched from District Court Complex Mominabad Batamaloo and reached at State High Court near Civil Secretariat where amid anti BJP, PDP and NIA slogans lawyers said that summoning Mian Qayoom is a conspiracy to stop him defending Article 35A in the Indian Supreme Court.

Qayoom was served a notice by NIA summoning him to New Delhi for questioning in the case related to funding of Hurriyat leaders. He has been told to appear in the NIA office in New Delhi on September 6.

Senior lawyer Zaffar A Shah said that lawyers will continue to stay away from work until Qayoom returns “with dignity” to the Valley.

“We feel that the (NIA) notice is not bona fide. It is the outcome of a design, of a conspiracy to lower down the credibility of our public men,” Shah told journalists.

He said that the NIA could have recorded the statement of Qayoom in Srinagar as well.

“We know Mr Qayoom. He is not involved in any manner in this case at all but at the same time if the NIA wanted to record his statement or to question him, we strongly condemn his summoning to New Delhi. The same thing could have been done even at Srinagar if it was a simple case of recording the statement for a witness or seeking information from him,” said Shah.

By summoning him to New Delhi, he said, “we feel that our respectable persons are being humiliated”.

The notice is a part of larger crackdown on Hurriyat leaders and pro-freedom activists in the cases alleged funding case.

Meanwhile members of Shopian Bar also staged a protest outside district court complex against NIA summons to Mian Abdul Qayum.

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They said that it is merely an intimidating tactic used by the State to muzzle the voices of lawyer community of Kashmir.

 They reaffirmed their support  to Bar President.

From past couple of months NIA has arrested several separatists including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan and Shahid ul Islam.

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