Majid Kapra

Police forms SIT to probe Babar Qadri’s killing

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Srinagar: Police on Friday said it has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the killing of advocate Babar Qadri who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen here on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference at Police Control Room (PCR) here, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the case was a top priority for the force and an SIT has been formed to probe it.

“I went to the (Qadri’s) house this morning and inspected the scene of the crime. We have formed a SIT headed by SP Hazratbal. It will include a legal expert apart from senior officers of the police.

“The SIT has been asked to investigate the matter and solve the case immediately and ascertain which militant and outfit was involved in the incident,” Kumar said.

Qadri was shot at by unidentified militants at his residence in the Hawal area of the city Thursday evening. He succumbed to the injuries on the way to a hospital.

Kumar said the assailants would be arrested or neutralised soon.

“We will arrest them as soon as possible and if we cannot arrest them, we will try to neutralise them in an encounter. This case is a top priority for us,” the IGP said.

Giving details about the incident, Kumar said two persons posing as clients with files in their hands and faces covered with masks came to Qadri’s house Thursday evening.

“They called the lawyer saying that they want some suggestion for an accident case. When the lawyer came down, they fired upon him indiscriminately with a pistol. He received four bullets in his head and succumbed to injuries on the way to a hospital.

“When the militants were fleeing, they fired a few rounds in the air. We are assessing the CCTV footage from a camera installed nearby,” he said.

The IGP said the Qadri’s car was fired upon in 2018 and he had a threat perception but had declined to shift to a safe zone.

“A police officer, who is a relative of Babar, had requested him to shift from Hawal area to a safe zone, but the lawyer declined. Local police officers also said they were requesting him to shift for the last one week as the locality was congested and the police patrolling was difficult.

“He (Qadri) had said he did not want to leave his house. I have seen the tweet by him about danger to his life. Unfortunately he had not tagged the Kashmir police in that tweet, but Jammu police,” Kumar said.

The IGP appealed to people — whether protected or not — who face a threat to approach the police.

“Babar had not shared any such thing with us, otherwise we would have shifted him to a safer place,” he said.

Pertinently, Babar Qadri would often feature in the debates of various TV channels, He was also heading Kashmir Lawyers Club and Jammu and Kashmir Justice Party.

He was survived by wife and two minor daughters.

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