Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, on Friday said that Advocate Babar Qadri had been cautioned about threat to his life. Qadri was shot dead by gunmen at his residence on Thursday.
IGP said that Qadri’s brother-in-law, a DSP in the J&K Police, had advised the lawyer to leave his residence for a few days but he refused.
Kumar said that two men acting as clients with files in their hands and masks on their face came to Babar’s house in the evening yesterday. “They called the lawyer saying they want suggestion for an accident case. When the lawyer came down, they fired upon him with a pistol,” he said adding that Qadri received four bullets in his head and succumbed to injuries on the way to hospital. “When the militants were fleeing, they fired a few rounds in the air. We are assessing the CCTV footage from a camera installed nearby.”
The IGP said that he went to the house this morning and inspected the scene of the crime. “We have formed a special investigation team headed by SP Hazratbal which will include a legal expert apart from senior officers of police,” he said adding that SIT has been asked to investigate the matter and solve the case immediately and “ascertain which militant and outfit was involved in the incident.”
“We will arrest them as soon as possible and if we cannot arrest them, we will try to neutralise them in an encounter. But this case is a top priority for us,” he added.
The Kashmir police chief said that in 2018 Qadri’s car was fired upon. “He had threat perception. A police officer who is a relative of Babar had requested him to shift from the Hawal area to a safe zone, but the lawyer had declined, saying he wanted to stay with his people,” he said. “The local police officers also said they were requesting him to shift as the locality was congested and the police patrolling was difficult. He had declined taking security.”
“I have seen the tweet by him about a danger to his life, but unfortunately, he had not tagged the Kashmir police in that tweet, but Jammu police. Otherwise we would have shifted him to a safer police,” the IGP said.