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Advocate Babar Qadri shot dead in Srinagar

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Had uploaded a video on FB regarding Bar elections; informed police about threats

Srinagar: Unidentified assailants shot dead an advocate in Hawal area of the Srinagar on Thursday evening, police said.

“The militants fired upon advocate Babar Qadri at his Hawal residence around 6.25 pm from close range before fleeing the spot,” a police official said.

Qadri, in his early 40s, was rushed to the SKIMS hospital, where doctors declared him ‘dead on arrival’, according to the official. The advocate, who used to appear on TV debates and write opinion pages for local newspapers, had three days ago, tweeted a screenshot and urged the police to register an FIR against a Facebook user for spreading “wrong campaign” against him.

“I urge the state Police administration to register FIR against this Shah Nazir who has spread wrong campaign that I work for agencies. This untrue statement can lead to threat to my life,” Qadri had written in his last tweet.

The advocate becomes second political or social activist to be shot dead in the past 24 hours.

Bhupinder Singh, a member of the Block Development Council in Khag area of Budgam district, was shot dead by militants at his ancestral village Dalwash on Wednesday night.

Babar’s family originally belongs to Shiekhpora, Tarhama in Tangmarg. The family had shifted to Srinagar in mid 90’s.

Babar uploaded a video message on facebook a few hours before his assassination questioning former Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Mian Qayoom.

The elections for the Bar Association are going to be held on 28th of September and Babar was seen as ardent opponent of Mian Qayoom’s nominee.

In his video message, he had accused Mian Qayoom of intimidation to make fellow lawyers to fall in line.

“Why should we hire militants and gunda elements to enforce our narrative in Bar Association,” Babar questions in his video message.

In the message, he had accused Mian Qayoom of threatening other lawyers from contesting for President’s position.

He had also accused Mian Qayoom of making Bar Association as a tool for propagation of Syed Ali Geelani’s politics.

Meanwhile, several political leaders have condemned the killing of Babar Qadri.

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Thursday condemned the killing of prominent Jammu and Kashmir-based lawyer and television panelist Babar Qadri.

Party vice president while expressing profound grief over the incident said the sense of tragedy was more because Babar had warned of the threat. “The jinxed fate of Kashmir snatched many such sons of the soil from us.  I am deeply anguished to hear about the incident, more so because he had already warned about the intimidation and threats. The incident should not pass by without punishing the perpetrators of the heinous crime. I extended condolences to the bereaved family in their hour of extreme grief,” he said.

Peoples Conference President, Sajad Lone also condemned the killing.

“Sad news. Advocate Babar Qadri assassinated. One more Kashmiri falls to bullets. Yet another victim of conflict. My thoughts with the family,” Sajad Lone tweeted.

Former MLA Gulmarg and Provincial President of Peoples Conference, Mohammad Abass Wani condemned the killing and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family.

Former Minister, Ghulam Hassan Mir and leader of Apni Party also expressed shock over the killing.

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