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ATTORNEY URGENT ALERT

 

INDIA

(Kashmir)

 

30 January 2009

 

Lawyer

Babar Jan Qadri

severely thrashed in the varsity campus by the police personnel of the Kashmir University (KU).    

 

Source : Kashmir Newsline  & FRONTLINE

 

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Babar Jan Qadri is a lawyer and campaigns against human rights violations in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He was a member of the Kashmir Thinker's Guild (KTG), has volunteered with the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), and was an active student activist at Kashmir University where he was engaged in promoting human rights advocacy, holding seminars and non-violent protests and awareness raising campaigns.

 

On 30 January 2009, Babar Jan Qadri was beaten by police following an incident at the Kashmir University campus. Babar Jan Qadri was at the campus to make arrangements for his fiancée's enrollment in the Bio-Technology Department. Upon finishing at the Registrar's office he was about to leave the campus when a police vehicle hit the back portion of his motorcycle. Babar Jan Qadri was knocked off the vehicle and sustained multiple injuries to his legs, arms and back.

 

When he enquired as to why the police had driven into him, 4 police officials reportedly began to beat him. Following the beating Babar Jan Qadri went with the police officials to the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University, where they reportedly beat him again, in the presence of the Deputy Superintendent of Police. Before releasing him, the officials warned Babar Jan Qadri against telling anyone of the incident or there would be “dire consequences”. They also confiscated Rs. 10,000 which Babar Jan Qadri was carrying as a deposit for the fee for his fiancée's University enrollment.

 

In what can be termed as a shocking incident, an alumnus of the Kashmir University (KU) was on Jan 30: severely thrashed in the varsity campus by the police personnel deployed there. Talking to Kashmir Newsline, Babar Jan Qadri, a lawyer by profession, said he had gone to KU to meet the Registrar following which the police manhandled him. “I had gone to KU to meet the registrar. After the meet as I left, I received a phone call and parked my motorcycle on the side.

Suddenly a gypsy came from behind and hit my bike. Before I could understand anything, several policemen came out from the gypsy and started thrashing me,” alleged Qadri. “When I told them I would complain about their barbaric behavior to the VC, they asked me to accompany them to the VC’s office.” “Instead of taking me to the VC, they took me to a room located in the ground floor where around a dozen policemen led by an officer beat me mercilessly,” said Qadri adding that for a moment he thought police would kill him. “Somehow I managed to escape from these goons in uniform. They also threatened me with death warnings and now I have lodged a complaint in the chief judicial magistrate’s office,” said Qadri. “The police party also snatched Rs 10,000 from me.”

 Qadri further identified one of the constables who thrashed him as Qasim. “One of the constables who thrashed me was probably named Qasim as his colleagues were calling him by this name,” he said. Alleging that the incident may have been provoked by a Doordarshan talk show where he had criticised the varsity, Qadri said, “Few days back I had spoken about the drawbacks in KU setup in a television show aired by Doordarshan. Probably this is the aftermath of my speaking truth.”

 

Babar Jan Qadri filed an application for an investigation into the attack before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Srinagar.

 

 

 

PLEASE TAKE ACTION

 

Copy the enclosed letter and send it to the address provided

ADRESSES

President Pratibha Patil,
Office of the President,
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi 110 004,
India

Letter

Your Excellency,

I am deeply concerned by reports of the police beating of human rights lawyer, Advocate Babar Qadri, on 31 January 2009, as well as ongoing harassment and intimidation by the police.

Babar Jan Qadri is a lawyer and campaigns against human rights violations in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He was a member of the Kashmir Thinker's Guild (KTG), has volunteered with the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), and was an active student activist at Kashmir University where he was engaged in promoting human rights advocacy, holding seminars and non-violent protests and awareness raising campaigns.

On 31 January 2009, Babar Jan Qadri was beaten by police following an incident at the Kashmir University campus. Babar Jan Qadri was at the campus to make arrangements for his fiancée's enrollment in the Bio-Technology Department. Upon finishing at the Registrar's office he was about to leave the campus when a police vehicle hit the back portion of his motorcycle. Babar Jan Qadri was knocked off the vehicle and sustained multiple injuries to his legs, arms and back.

When he enquired as to why the police had driven into him, 4 police officials reportedly began to beat him. Following the beating Babar Jan Qadri went with the police officials to the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University, where they reportedly beat him again, in the presence of the Deputy Superintendent of Police. Before releasing him, the officials warned Babar Jan Qadri against telling anyone of the incident or there would be “dire consequences”. They also confiscated Rs. 10,000 which Babar Jan Qadri was carrying as a deposit for the fee for his fiancée's University enrollment.

Babar Jan Qadri filed an application for an investigation into the attack before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Srinagar.

I believe that the police attack on Babar Jan Qadri is related to his peaceful and legitimate activities in defence of human rights in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Between September 2008 and January 2009 intelligence agencies have reportedly been questioning several lawyer colleagues of Babar Qadri's in relation to his work. Intelligence agents have also questioned members of JKCCS on a number of occasions as to whether Babar Jan Qadri is working with them.

I urge the authorities in India to:

1. Initiate an immediate, impartial and exhaustive investigation into the reports of police harassment and violence against Babar Qadri, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Guarantee that human rights defenders in Jammu and Kashmir are free to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals.

Yours sincerely


TAKE ACTION NOW!

 

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