[TwoCircles.Net] The Story of Shahid Azmi, Muslim Advocate and Activist

[…] It was also a period when bar associations in different parts of the country had taken upon themselves the role of judges and had barred members from the lawyers’ community to take up any terror related cases. Few advocates who dared to challenge the unjust diktats of their ‘brethren’ had come under attack at different places. K.G. Kannabiran, former president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties and a famous human rights activist, who was himself an advocate by profession, had to issue an appeal to fellow lawyers to reconsider and rescind their decision of boycott of particular cases. In his well publicised appeal he had to tell them how their actions negate the right of the accused under article 21 of the constitution and their actions were neither morally nor constitutionally justified.

In such an ambience where one found very few advocates who could dare to take up such cases, Shahid’s role as an advocate really inspired confidence. One really yearned to meet him or interview him to get to know what made him such a man of steel at such a young age. And as events unfolded before our own eyes, the yearning will remain ever unfulfilled.

Just when the rest of the world became aware of Shahid’s legal intervention which brought to the fore the torture meted out to Muslim inmates inside the Arthur Road jail came the sad news that Shahid was killed ( 11th February 2010) in his own chamber by hired assassins. The judgment by the Bombay high courts in the Arthur Road jail was historic in the sense, it not only transferred the woman jailer from the Arthur road jail, it also saw to it that FIR be lodged against Ms Sathe for excessive and unwarranted use of force against the under trials but it also underlined the communalised atmosphere within the precincts of India’s jails. […]

Read the full article here.

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