February 21, 2018
Jammu and Kashmir Police have registered an FIR against lawyers and their agents for pasting posters in the Saddar Court Complex here on February 9 wherein a comparison were drawn between Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, Muhammad Afzal Guru and Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Chander Shekhar Azad.
According to police “the posters had message: Maqbool and Bhat are heroes of Kashmir, while Bhaghat, Sukhdev and Azad were the heroes of India.”
Taking strong note of the posters, police station Batamaloo registered a case against some lawyers and their agents under section 13 of Unlawful Activities Act. “Police station received information from credible sources that some lawyers and their agents had pasted posters of Bhat and Guru wherein they were termed as heroes of Kashmir; Singh, Sukhdev and Azad were declared heroes of India,” reads the FIR.
The FIR, a copy of which is with Greater Kashmir, further states that pasting the posters of Guru, Bhat and militants on the walls of court complex amounts to challenging the sovereignty of India and hence those involved need to be booked under section 13 of the UAA.
A police source said the issue has been taken very seriously by the top brass of police and investigations are afoot to identity the “lawyers involved in the act.” “Police team from Batamaloo is probing the matter seriously,” he said.
He said the posters were removed and seized by the police and it is being investigated wherefrom they were printed. “We are sure to find out who was behind the act,” he said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, general secretary of Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA), advocate G N Shaheeen, said that registering an FIR is nothing new for the Bar. “We believe almost every citizen of Kashmir has been booked under this Act for raising voice against the forcible control of New Delhi,” he said. “First of all, on February 9 there was complete strike and no lawyer was present in the court. We don’t know who pasted these posters. Lodging FIR against lawyers is a non-issue.”
President Lawyers Club Kashmir, advocate Babar Qadri, said, “Open FIR is always like a sword that hangs on the heads of lawyers. My appeal to the HCBA president is not to remain silent on the police FIR and instead fight it out.”