In what was to be his last tweet, 39-year-old Babar Qadiri had posted a screenshot of a Facebook exchange with an alleged troll and complained to the police on September 21 about being wrongly accused of “working for agencies”. Tagging the Police Media Centre Jammu, he had written, “I urge the state police administration to register (an) FIR… This untrue statement can lead to threat to my life.”
I urge the state Police administration to register FIR against this Shah Nazir who has spread wrong campaign that I… https://t.co/9q4DrHAplH
— Babar Qadri Truth (@BabarTruth) 1600685460000
Qadiri’s father-in-law, Jamiat-e-Islami functionary Ghulam Qadir Wani, had been killed by terrorists some years ago.
Sources said Qadiri, too, had been facing repeated threats to his life since 2018, when a Pakistani website insinuated that he was playing a “double game”. This was soon after journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by terrorists in Srinagar.
Qadiri, who was shot in the head and other parts of his body around 6.30pm, died while being taken to the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences.
Till late in the night, no outfit had claimed responsibility for the assassination. A senior official of J&K Police said investigators were exploring “various angles” to find out who killed the lawyer and why.
“The assassination of Babar Qadri this evening is tragic & I unequivocally condemn it. The sense of tragedy is all the more because he warned of the threat. Sadly his warning was his last tweet,” former J&K chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Apni Party vice-president Ghulam Hassan Mir said that by “silencing a lawyer”, the killers had silenced “many victims of conflict, too”.
“We have been reiterating this fact that violence begets violence and use of the gun will never achieve anything. The killing of a young and promising lawyer who represented members of the poorest, most marginalised parts of Kashmir on all the forums available to him has a devastating impact on access to justice in Kashmir.”
Qadri is survived by his parents, wife and two minor daughters. The family lives in the Mirza Kamil neighbourhood of downtown Hawal.
A Srinagar-based block development council (BDC) chief travelling to his ancestral village in central Kashmir’s Budgam without his security guards had been shot dead by terrorists late Wednesday.