Tag Archives: Jammu & Kashmir

India/Jammu & Kashmir: Court denies permission to hold seminar on ‘self-determination’

March 31, 2019

Jammu & Kashmir High Court Bar Association.

For the first time in decades, the Kashmir High Court Bar Association was not permitted to hold a seminar on ‘self-determination’.

The association, one of the largest elected bodies of Valley-based lawyers, was on Saturday not allowed to organise a seminar inside the court complex in Srinagar.

Principal District and Sessions Judge Abdul Rashid Malik, while disallowing the proposed seminar on ‘self-determination and repression in Kashmir’, in his order said the event could not be allowed inside the district court complex under law.

To mark the 23rd anniversary of Advocate Jaleel Andrabi, who was kidnapped by an Army Major on March 8, 1996, the Bar had proposed a seminar at its office located in the District Court, Moominabad, Srinagar. Jaleel, a human rights lawyer, was later killed in custody and his body was fished out from the Jhelum on March 27, 1996.

“The elected office-bearers of the Bar had inquired from Abdul Rashid Malik, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, as to why the seminar cannot be held inside the court complex. He had no answer except that the topic chosen by the Bar was the reason for not giving it the permission. He told the association to change the topic and only then go ahead with the programme,” a Bar spokesman said in a statement in response to the cancellation of the seminar.

The Bar members, however, refused to do so and told the judge that they would postpone the seminar but won’t to change the topic, the spokesman said.







India/Jammu & Kashmir: 4 more Kashmiris attacked in Delhi, journalist, lawyer tortured

February 24, 2019


The targeted onslaughts against Kashmiris across India continue unabated after Pulwama attack as three more Kashmiri youth were attacked in New Delhi, while a journalist and an advocate were beaten up in Pune and Srinagar.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), Hindu fanatics assaulted three Kashmiri youth in Nangloi area of New Delhi.

In another incident, a 24-year-old Kashmiri journalist, Jibran Nazir, was beaten up in Pune.

Jibran Nazir, who works with a newspaper in Pune, said that the assailants told him that they would send him back to Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the authorities have booked an illegally detained youth under draconian law, Public Safety Act (PSA), in Pulwama district.

The authorities shifted Muzamil Ganai, a resident of Chatpora area of the district, to Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu after slapping him with the PSA.

Muzammil was arrested by the police last week on the charges of pelting stones on the Indian forces’ personnel. His family members, however, refuted the police claim that he was involved in stone pelting.

Meanwhile, a civilian, Muhammad Ishaq Lone, of Shopian was admitted in a hospital in Srinagar after Indian Army personnel subjected him to severe torture at their camp.

According to KMS, Muhammad Ishaq Lone told media men that he received a call from personnel of army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles stationed at Nagisharan Shopian, on late Wednesday evening, summoning him to the camp.

Meanwhile, the human rights commission has directed Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Srinagar to respond to a petition filed by an advocate alleging that he was beaten by the Indian Army personnel.

The aggrieved advocate, Shafqat Nazir, hailing from Sopore area of Baramulla district, who practices in the High Court in Srinagar, filed the petition saying that the army personnel beat him up along the highway in Srinagar. “Since the army doesn’t fall within its jurisdiction, the commission issued notice to the police,” an official of SHRC said.




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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 17/03/19)

Jammu & Kashmir/India: Advocate alleges harassment by cops

January 18, 2019

Advocate Shahzad Saleem has alleged harassment by police and demanded higher-ups to initiate action against the concerned policemen.

Saleem said that on Tuesday while heading towards Srinagar from Jammu, he was stopped by a police naka team at Banihal.

The cops, he said, asked him for RC, pollution, insurance etc which he provided them. In the meantime, he said, the cops asked him whose vehicle it was and where was the power of attorney.

“I was not carrying the power of attorney but I managed it via WhatsApp and accordingly provided it to them,” Saleem said.  “While checking all the documents and the power of attorney, I told the policemen that I myself am an advocate, which made them furious.”

Salim added: “The police team took my vehicle to the concerned police station. My family was along with me and on reaching the police station, my mobile phones were snatched. After checking the vehicle, they took it to a local mechanic to check whether the engine number matches with that mentioned in the RC.”

“This is the height of harassment as I was with my family who were in distress while seeing the unwarranted action of cops,” Saleem said, adding that the whole process took over three hours amid harsh cold. “This is how they treat advocates, imagine the fate of common people,” he said.



India/Jammu & Kashmir: Not Able to Rent a House in Jammu, Says Ex Kathua Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat

December 10, 2018

The lawyer is currently living in government accommodation, but has been asked to leave since she is no longer representing the Kathua victim’s family.

Not Able to Rent a House in Jammu, Says Ex Kathua Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat

Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, who played an important role in the Kathua rape case, is finding it difficult to rent a home in Jammu.

Rajawat’s housing problem began after the Bakharwal family, whose case made her an overnight star, removed her as their lawyer. Rajawat received rape and death threats, and was constantly trolled, following which then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti provided her with government accommodation.

The lawyer lives in a government quarter in Gandhi Nagar, with her six-year-old daughter. Threats against her have increased manifold over the course of the past few weeks, she says, as the family’s application to remove her as their lawyer came to light.

Since governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, things have become harder for her. Her accommodation was provided on Mufti’s verbal orders and Rajawat was told to vacate immediately after she was removed from the Kathua case.

Also Read: Deepika Singh Rajawat: Kathua Family ‘Innocent, But Being Misguided’

Moreover, three personal security officers (PSOs) – two for her and one for her daughter – had been assigned. She told The Wire that her daughter’s PSO was reassigned, though there has been no change in the circumstances around her safety.

Because of constant harassment by officials of the estates department, even Rajawat wishes to vacate the premises. But she has found that people in Jammu are unwilling to rent houses to her. The Kathua case has created a negative image about the activist.




https://www.jansatta.com/national/kathua-rape-case-lawyer-deepika-singh-rajawat-jammu-rent-house-denied-bakharwal-family-victim-security/843792/ (HINDI)

India/Jammu & Kashmir: An assistant professor, a journalist, a lawyer, all booked for posts on social media

December 1, 2018

An assistant professor, a journalist, a lawyer, all booked for posts on social media

An assistant professor who posted a video about a school shutting down because of a government forces’ camp coming up nearby, a journalist who posted in a Whatsapp group – of which journalists and police officers are members – news of a woman’s death due to government forces firing teargas on people, and a lawyer who posted something critical of the government on Facebook, have all been booked by police in Kulgam for “separatist” activities, “rumour mongering”, and “sharing anti-government posts on Facebook”, respectively.

The assistant professor, Dr Abdul Bari Naik, a doctorate from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), teaches at Government Degree College Kulgam. He told Kashmir Reader that he was being punished for the social work he does.

“I have been vocal about several social issues and, inadvertently during the course of doing so, a target of the ire of powerful people as well,” said Bari, who unsuccessfully contested 2014 assembly elections from Homeshalibug constituency.

He said he recently posted a video about the closure of a school in the vicinity of a newly established forces’ camp in Redweni area of Kulgam district.

“The school had remained closed for over a month because people in the area were protesting against the establishment of the camp. In the video I suggested that either the camp be removed or the school,” Bari said.

The officer also confirmed that a lawyer named Muzammil Butt has been booked for “sharing anti-government posts on Facebook.”

Despite repeated attempts by this reporter, the lawyer could not be contacted.

He, as per sources, has got a stay order from the High Court. The lecturer and the journalist face arrest, though.


India/Jammu & Kashmir: Why Was Kathua Rape Case Lawyer Removed? (Read Story)

November 17, 2018

From the past two days the whole of news world ran the story of Kathua child rape & murder victim Asifa’s lawyer being dumped by the parents of the girl. For some seasoned observers this came as no shock, and for others who were wanting that justice be given to the girl have felt a heavy jolt. This is not the first time that strong
supporters of justice have been trampled in India.

This case is of 8 year old Asifa from Kathua, Jammu Kashmir who was kidnapped, drugged, and raped and held captive in a temple for some days and was killed and burnt later. The whole of India was shocked to see such henious crime been done to a small child. Many were already recovering from another big shocking cases like those of Nirbhaya which happened in Delhi. Day and again we are witnessing such crimes against women and children being done in India. Shockingly the accused in the case were militantly supported by a prominent political party of India.

Many people started negative campaign against this lawyer as she belonged to the community of the accused and was given various abuses for fighting for justice, was also accused on twitter for swindling funds taken for this case. She represented the case at various places and slowly it became an international case.

Some sections of the media are jubiliant on this news and say this removal of the lawyer was done as Ms Deepika Singh Rajawat, the lawyer under discussion has been inefficient as she attended only 2-3 hearings in about 110 of them. Some even say that she was being irresponsible for the above. We wanted to know what actually the story is and has she actually sidelined her responsibility.

Responding to Awam Media regarding removal from the case, Advocate Deepika says “It is astonishing. In February 2018, being a lawyer and activist I contacted the family for filing a Writ Petition in the High Court (J&K) seeking monitoring of crime investigation. There are some basics things which everyone needs to understand before we react. We are civilised people and have to react accordingly. At that time I provided pro-bono service to them, why would I withdraw it now? I filed the Writ Petition in the High Court on behalf of the biological father of the victim. Investigation continued till April and was monitored by the High Court. Only after filing of the Writ Petition, we found seriousness done in the case.

In April, hue and cry was created in media, and it became an international issue, then the chargesheet was produced before the Kathua Court. The local lawyers were not allowing the Crime Branch to file the charge-sheet, as it was creating embarrassment for some persons. That time I suggested the parents that this situation and
place is not suitable for the trial to take place peacefully, it is better to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court to seek transfer of the case. I went with the parents to the Hon’ble Supreme Court, and Indira Jaising Senior Advocate filed a joint application for transfer of the trial, which was duly granted.

According to Sec 24 of CRPC in India and from other Supreme Court Judgements, in criminal cases, the trial will be conducted by the Public Prosecutors only. I being a private lawyer cannot conduct trial there, cannot argue, cannot cross-examine, unless I am specially appointed as a Public Prosecutor which did not happen. I did not
dump them or leave them. I was there with the family. Ms Indira Jaising appeared for the family in Supreme Court, but is she also appearing in Pathankot too?

I have no role to play in the trial at Kathua.














https://hindi.timesnownews.com/india/article/kathua-gangrepe-and-murder-case-lawyer-deepika-singh-rajawat-pathankot-trial-court-supreme-court/314250 (HINDI)

India/Jammu & Kashmir: ‘Even if my community disowns me, I want justice’: Advocate Deepika Rajawat speaks on Kathua case, fighting abuse and hatred

October 21, 2018

File image of Deepika Singh Rajawat. News18

Even as the Kathua rape and murder case became a cause of much religious polarisation earlier this year, advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat sought to transcend those barriers by representing the victim’s family in court. Rajawat has received — and continues to receive — both effusive praise and vitriolic abuse for her decision to take up the case.

On Sunday, she will receive the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice — an initiative of the Harmony Foundation — at an event in Mumbai. She will receive the recognition for “defying threats and intimidation to ensure justice for the underage minor victim of rape and murder”. Speaking with Firstpost, Rajawat said that getting the award is a “source of strength and courage” for her. She also expressed her views on a host of issues including the developments in the Kathua rape and murder case, accountability of the media, the death penalty and the #MeToo movement. Following are edited excerpts from the interview:

What challenges have you been facing since you decide to represent the victim’s family in the Kathua rape and murder case?
The most significant challenge has been that of fighting people from my community. Most people from the majority community are opposed to my stand. I have faced a lot of abuse and threats on social media, which was something I experienced for the first time. However, I have been facing them with pride, because I know that I am fighting for an 8-year-old child. My only motive is to secure justice for her.

I have a daughter who is six years old, and so I can understand the pain of the family of the victim in this case. That is how I approached the family and offered my services as a lawyer. I feel that if I would not have done so, they may not have gotten support from anyone.

However, even after so many months, some people still deal with me as though I have committed some offence. While I have received appreciation in the country and even outside, at many native place, a large proportion of the population have hatred towards me. Perhaps, they feel that I took a stand against my own community and supported another community. However, I feel that as a lawyer, I should focus on the client, and not the religion of the client. Even if people from my community disown me, I want to ensure justice for the child.


Lawyer-activist at the centre of Kathua row accused of rape, again





Press Release..

Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat bags Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice -2018.

Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice 2018 honours sexual abuse survivors, persons fighting for empowering women.

The Harmony Foundation hosted the 14th annual Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice (MTMA) at the Taj Lands End, Bandra on Sunday, 21 October 2018 where those who have worked to help rescue women and children from captivity, and also survivors of sexual abuse and slavery who are now leading the fight against this social evil were honoured.

MTMA, instituted in the name of Mother Teresa, is the only award ceremony in the world hosted in her name which is endorsed by the Missionaries of Charity, the organization founded by Mother Teresa.

Several international and national awardees were honoured at the event where the Harmony Foundation raised a battle cry against exploitation and sexual abuse in all forms and vowed to sensitize masses against this evil.

Among those honoured at the MTMA was Adv. Deepika Rajawat, who has valiantly fought to seek justice in the heinous Kathua incident. Speaking at the award ceremony, Dr. Abraham Mathai, the founder chairman of Harmony Foundation said, “It is shocking that despite being in the twenty first century, we are still discussing about women and children being protected against abuse – this just shows that we still have a long way to go. Our aim is to ensure that women and children everywhere can live free from fear of exploitation and never have to face abuse in any form. We have decided to devote our time and effort to rally against abuse of women and children in every form.”

Inspite of intimidation and threats Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat who is working for the protection of Human Rights in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since 2008, has greatly been admired for her selfless act of representing the family of eight year old victim of rape and murder in Kathua that took place in the beginning of this year.

She has been bestowed with prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2018 as support and encouragement to her in the dispensation of justice for the victim of Kathua Board by Harmony Foundation, Mumbai.

Each year, individuals and organisations receive this very prestigious award for exceptional service to humanity; past recipients of which include Nobel Laureates like UNHCR- The Refugee Agency, Malala Yousafzai, HH Dalai Lama, Medicines Sans Frontiers; Nation Premiers like President of Ghana HE Nana Akufo-Addo; Prime Minister of Malaysia HE Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, HH Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs & Intl Cooperation), Baroness Caroline Cox (former Deputy Speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords), Priyanka Chopra (UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Present at the award ceremony were Amruta Fadnavis, who has been active at the forefront in social causes and is the wife of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra; BJP Mumbai chief Mr. Ashish Shelar; patrons of Harmony foundation including noted filmmaker Mr. Mahesh Bhatt and Ms. Soni Razdan; prominent members of civil society and members of the diplomatic corps.

Earlier this year, Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat has been conferred with Women of the Year Award by Indian Merchants Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ladies Wing, Mumbai in June 2018 at Mumbai for her contribution in women welfare initiatives. She has also been awarded with Humanitarian Award 2008 by Trinjan at festival of Mothers and Daughters at Vancouver BC Canada on June 24th 2018.

Deepika has been awarded with Women of the Centaury Award at Salute Success 2018 Thalilulam Block Panchayath Kazhimbram, Kerala on 17th June 2018 at Kochi for being a courageous woman.

Rajawat who has been working for Human Rights specially Child Rights and Women Rights since 2008, has also been awarded with Rippen Kapoor Fellowship in 2008 by Child Rights and You (CRY) for working on the Child Rights Violations in the militancy infested J&K.

She was also awarded with Sonjoy Gosh Media Fellowship by Charkha Foundation in 2008 for conducting study on the Child Rights Violations in the militancy infested areas of Jammu province.

Deepika who is heading Voice for Rights an NGO working for the protection of Human Rights in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is also awarded with Life Saver Award for contributing services for the children suffering from Thalassemia in Jammu by Department of Immunohematology Blood Transfusion & Medicine, Government Medial College Jammu on National Blood Donation day observed across the country on October 1, 2009.

For highlighting the plight of the children in the conflict ridden areas of Jammu region (Jammu and Kashmir) Deepika Singh Rajawat has also received UNFPA -Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2009-10 for Northern region on April 14, 2010 at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.


List of Awardees

Dr. Oby Ezekwesili

Ardent and passionate advocate who is a ray of hope for women in slavery and captivity.

Dr. Nashwa Al Ruwaini

An intrepid and artistic entrepreneur and philanthropist who has remarkably transformed the outlook of women

Nadia Murad

A globally renowned Yazidi survivor and human rights activist who fights to end the use of rape as a weapon of war and armed conflict

Dr. Denis Mukwege

Providing medical, legal, psychological and economic support to the survivors of rape

Sister Lucy Kurien

Working ardently and passionately to restore the dignity of destitute women to lead a normal life.

Salman Sufi

Introducing reforms that have provided legal, medical and counselling services to women who are victims of violence

Tawakkol Karman

Campaigner for the safety of women and right to inclusion in nation building

Laxmi Agarwal

A prolific campaigner and active voice for the victims of acid attack

Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat

Defying threats and intimidation to ensure justice for the underage minor victim of rape and murder

Barefoot College

Equipping rural women with technical skills to advance and modernize their communities

Women for Afghan Women

Integrating women and girls to participate in all spheres of public life as equal citizens

Kiran Mazumdar

A pacesetter who has set an example nationally for women to emulate

Laila Talo Khudher Alali

For overcoming sexual abuse & slavery and being at the forefront in the battle against

sexual exploitation of Yazidi Women

Idris Bashar Silo Taha

Facilitating daring rescue missions inspired by selfless acts of mercy at great personal

risk and safety.

Sonita Alizadeh

A leading advocate against child marriage and fierce campaigner for the education of

the Girl Child

Suhani Jalota

Economically empowering women from marginalized sections of society to become

financially independent

Shahida Akter Shorna

Fighting against child marriage and promoting the right to education of the girl child

(Facebook, 21/10/18)