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Senior Lawyer Mian Abdul Qayoom Arrested by Jammu and Kashmir SIA

The Jammu and Kashmir State Investigation Agency (SIA) has arrested Mian Abdul Qayoom, a prominent lawyer and former president of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (HCBA), in connection with the 2020 murder of advocate Babar Qadri.

Details of Babar Qadri’s Murder

Babar Qadri, a lawyer and television panellist, was shot dead in his Srinagar home in September 2020 by two unidentified assailants posing as clients. Before his murder, Qadri posted a video on Facebook criticizing Qayoom and his political activities within the Bar Association, accusing him of using threats and pressure to influence Bar politics since 1990 and calling for integrity in political conduct.

Qadri’s Concerns for Safety Prior to Death

Two days before his death, Qadri posted on Twitter expressing concerns for his safety. He included a screenshot of a message from Shah Nazir, who praised Qayoom for his sacrifices for lawyers and the public while criticizing Qadri.

Police Raids and Investigation

In 2022, police raided the homes of Qayoom and two other lawyers in connection with Qadri’s murder, seizing digital devices and documents. Qayoom was arrested on Tuesday morning after being summoned by the SIA.

Qayoom’s Background and Previous Detention

Mian Abdul Qayoom has served as the president of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Srinagar for over two decades and is the father-in-law of Justice Javed Iqbal Wani, a sitting judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. In August 2019, following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, Qayoom was placed under preventive detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) due to his “secessionist” tendencies. His detention was upheld by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court but was not extended by the Central government beyond August 6, 2020.

(With inputs from various sources)

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