Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday formed a five-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the killing of advocate Babar Qadri in Srinagar a day earlier, officials familiar with the matter said.
Police said that Qadri was at his home when two persons, wearing masks, came as clients.
“They called the lawyer saying that they have an accident case and wanted some suggestions. As the lawyer came down they fired upon him . He died on the way to hospital,” said Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar in a press conference.
Doctors said Qadri had sustained bullet wounds on his neck, near the eye, under his arm and on his arm. The militants also fired in the air while fleeing. “We are analysing CCTV footage from the lane and are trying to ascertain which outfit is responsible for the attack. The SIT will be headed by SP Hazratbal,” he said.
The SIT has been asked to find which militant outfit is involved. “We will attempt to arrest them, if they are not caught, we will try to neutralise them in an encounter. This case is our top priority,” the IGP said.
Just hours before his death, Qadri in a Facebook live had said he had been receiving intimidating messages after he had written against the High Court Bar Association president over bar elections.
He said he feared for his life and had urged the police to register an FIR against a social media user who had accused Qadri of being ‘projected by agencies’ on Twitter.
The IGP said that Qadri had ‘unfortunately’ tagged the Jammu police handle instead of Kashmir police handle. “If he had called ….or shared his threat perception with us, we would have taken some action,” he said.
The IGP said Qadri was not a protected person but in 2018, his car was fired upon. “His relative, who works with the police, and local police officers had requested him to not live in Hawal, which is a congested area and difficult to patrol. He was not ready to leave his home,” he said.
JeM hand suspected in CRPF officer’s killing
Kumar said officer said the attack on CRPF personnel in Budgam district on Thursday morning was suspected to be the handiwork of a Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit.
“On Thursday morning, a CRPF patrol was carrying out routine work in Budgam when it was fired upon. One of our ASIs was killed in the attack. We suspect JeM involvement in the case. An M4 was used to fire on the officers. The weapon is usually used by JeM,” Kumar said.