February 14, 2017
IT HAS been seven years since advocate Shahid Azmi was shot dead in his office at Taximen’s colony in Kurla on February 11, 2010. Among the cases Azmi was representing as a defence lawyer was the 26/11 terror attack. The trial of Azmi’s murder is, however, yet to begin. Last month, the main accused in the case, Devendra Jagtap, the alleged gunman who shot dead Azmi was denied bail by a sessions court. Another co-accused Hasmukh Solanki, too continues to remain in judicial custody while two others have been granted bail and one accused has been discharged in the case. Azmi’s younger brother, Khalid, who also is an advocate says that the family gets solace from the fact that the main accused in the case are behind bars.
“It has been seven years. The accused had made an application in the court that they should be granted bail due to the delay in the trial. Their plea was also to not begin trial till they bail applications are heard by the court first. But, the court found merit to reject bail to them. To know that they are behind bars is enough for me for now, since it proves that the prosecution is doing its job,” Khalid says.
Azmi known for his legal prowess had a difficult journey towards becoming an advocate including defending terror charges at the age of 16. Khalid feels that he cannot match up to his brother but attempts to contribute to anyone in need like Azmi did. “My brother used to work very hard. He was very dynamic. I cannot be like him. Then too, when ever someone approaches me seeking legal help, I try contributing,” he says. For the family too, Khalid says the death has brought them closer. “He was the backbone of our family. We are still trying to cope with him being gone. We are managing. We still meet once a week and discuss things as a family,” he says speaking of his three brothers.