Release Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom
Release Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom
Advocate Mian Qayoom,76- year-old Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (HCBA) President is currently lodged in Tihar Jail, India's capital New Dehli. He was earlier lodged in the Central Jail of Agra in India’s central province of Uttar Pradesh since August 2019, for his undeterred stance on Kashmir issue calling for right to self-determination in the region. He is the only lawyer in South Asia who has contested more than 15,000 habeas corpus petitions.
A senior advocate at the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, who has remained president of HCBA for 21 times, Mr Qayoom was arrested along with 24 other activists following the unilateral abrogation of Article 370 by India on Aug, 5th last year. Mr Qayoom has been a vehement critic of the India’s abrogation of Articles 370 and 35(A).
In 1990 when the insurgency started in IOJK, he was arrested and lodged in different Indian jails. In 1995 Mr Qayyum was sitting in his private law chamber when an unknown gunman barged in and fired many rounds of bullets which seriously injured Mr Qayoom. The bullet injury damaged his spine and he had back to back nine surgeries as a consequence developed a limp while waking. The doctors also removed his kidney and he is surviving on his one kidney.
Qayoom is suffering from various ailments. He is also sufferening from diabetes, hypertension, kidney problem and requires 25-30 units of insulin twice a day. He was operated upon twice for prostate problem, more recently at New Delhi-based Apollo hospital in 2018 and at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, in 2012. He has a cataract in left eye and he is also a patient of arthiritis (gout). Therefore, he needs urgent medical attention.
On the evening of 29-01-2020, Qayoom suffered a major heart attack in judicial custody following which he was rushed to S.N Medical College Agra. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court last week while hearing Habeas Corpus petition of Qayoom directed authorities to shift him to Tihar Jail in New Delhi and ordered authorities to take care of his deteriorating health condition besides providing him proper health care and treatment to him. However, despite court orders he was not shifted and no proper treatment was provided to him which caused his latest medical breakdown.
As a consequences he has been detained under draconian lawless law called as Public Safety Act of 1978 which gives arbitrary powers to Indian administrators to detain individuals without any judicial process or trial for up to 2 years. This law has not only been misused but abused to victimize and suppress activists, journalists,political, human rights, lawyers and common people of Kashmir.
Earlier as well Mr Qayoom in 2010 also has been detained by the Indian authorities for raising voice against the Human Right violation in Occupied Kashmir. Not only this the National Investigation Agency (NIA) summoned Kashmir High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom in so called terror funding case related to funding of separatist activities in the Kashmir Valley. But all the allegations against Mr Qayoom were found baseless.
In November last year, Richard Atkins QC, Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales and Schona Jolly SC, Chair of the BHRC wrote to their Prime Minister Narendra expressing concern over the arrest of Qayoom. Later, they wrote a letter to Prime Minister of India Narender Modi about his arrest. Qayoom has been detained under lawless law called so-called Public Safety Act of 1978 which gives arbitrary powers to Indian administrators to detain individuals without any judicial process or trial for up to 2 years.
This law has not only been misused but abused to victimize and suppress activists,journalists, political, human rights, lawyers and common people of Kashmir. Following annexation of Kashmir by Indian on August 05, 2019, media reports claimed that nearly a 1000 people were detained illegally under this Act. More than 10000 others were picked up to stall any uprising against India’s illegal moves in Kashmir.
Five special United Nations Special Rapporteur last month have written to the government of India about the “alleged arbitrary detention” of Mian Abdul Qayoom, the president of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (HCBA), under Public Safety Act (PSA) the letter stated that;
“While we do not wish to prejudge the accuracy of these allegations, we wish to express our concern that, if conﬁrmed, may be in contravention of the rights of every individual to life, liberty and security, as set forth in articles 6 and 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),”
The Division bench of J&k high court has dismissed the Habeas Corpus petition with the shocking observation that Mr. Advocate Mian Qayoom shall make representation to Government for his release.
This is high time for international organizations to play their role and urge the Government of India to release Senior Advocate who is detained illegally under the lawless Public Safety Act.