Kashmir Portal

A digital Kashmir Info Network

Lawyers March For Justice, Say CM Should Resign

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 14, 2009

Srinagar, June 13, KONS:
Lawyers throughout the valley today staged protest demonstrations and held rallies to denounce the double rape and murder in Shopian last month, with the High Court Bar Association demanding the resignation of the chief minister, the rural development minister and the divisional commissioner for Kashmir for having misled the public.

During demonstrations by lawyers, the president of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) met the families of the two victims in Shopian and inspected the spots where the bodies had been found.

Taking the call of the Hurriyat (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, forward, the HCBA took out a procession in Srinagar.

Led by noted legal expert, Zaffar Ahmad Shah, the marchers emerged from the lower court complex chanting slogans against the Shopian outrage and demanding punishment to the perpetrators.
As the procession headed for Lal Chowk, it was joined by many more members of the legal fraternity, the swollen numbers marching to the press enclave via the clock tower to demand hanging of the culprits.

The lawyers also raised slogans against the divisional commissioner for Kashmir, M Samoon, and the NDTV news network which had tried to question the character of the two victims.
Addressing the gathering, Zaffar Shah said that the outrage was not a question of two women only but the collective self-respect of all Kashmiris.

“We can tolerate any atrocity, but will never allow the honour of our womenfolk to be harmed,” the leading lawyer said.
“The police and the army here are called the security forces, but we have become insecure in their presence,” he said.

Senior advocate and former president of the Bar, Nazir Ahmad Ronga said that people should wake up because now it was a question of  Kashmiri honour.
“The public tide will sweep away those who attack our honour,” he said.

The march later wound its way through the Residency Road, swung into the Maulana Azad Road, and singled out the Congress headquarters on the route for angry sloganeering.

The HCBA president, Mian Abdul Qayoom, and general secretary, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, lead a lawyers’ procession in Shopian, visited the victims’ family to extend sympathies, and addressed a large gathering at the Jamia Masjid.

“The Shopian outrage has opened our eyes. Therefore we don’t need to be restrained,” Qayoom said.

The Bar president said that the officers of the administration, including the divisional commissioner, had repeatedly changed their statements to mislead the public, the HCBA had filed a petition in the High Court which had sought a report from the district administration and police officers.

Shaheen said that a Bar team had visited the spots where the bodies had been found.

The gathering later passed a resolution saying that investigations so far had proved that it was a case of abduction, gang-rape and murder, with the HCBA demanding the swift arrest of the killers and registering a case under sections 120-B, 302, 376, 366, and 363 of the Ranbir Penal Code.

The HCBA said that the copy of the FIR given to it mentioned only section 376, and demanded that the chief judicial magistrate summon police dairies to investigate whether cases have been registered under sections relevant to the crimes confirmed to have been committed.

The Bar said that the chief minister, the minister for rural development and the divisional commissioner had mislead the nation by statements that have been negated by evidence, therefore they have no right to remain in power.

Layers took out a procession in Anantnag as well, with the marchers winding their way through Mehendi Kadal, Lal Chowk, Achbal, and Cheeni Chowk, and dispersing peacefully at their point of origin in the district court compelx.

Reports of processions by lawyers were also recived from Handwara, Budgam, Sopore, Kulgam, Pampore, Ganderbal and other towns of Kashmir.

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