Little did Syed Ghulam Qadir Andrabi of Ratnipora, Pulwama know that the son born into his family on January 30, 1960 would make his boyhood credo of regard for the rights of others the code he would live, and die, for.
Brilliant in class and spunky outside, Jalil-ul-Qadr Andrabi’s inclinations were evident even in his school days when on November 14, 1973 he came to the rescue of the students of the Government College for Women protesting against a bid to rename it (the college) after Jawaharlal Nehru.
The girls, facing a heavy police contingent on the Maulana Azad Road after having smashed a new signboard hoisted on the main campus building, had also been joined by the students of the nearby SP College and School.
In the words of a protestor, Bilquees: “As soon as we came
out of the college, we saw a young boy throwing stones on the police.
He guided us and saved many girls from cane-wielding policemen.
The boy was later identified as Jalil Andrabi.”
As a law student at the Kashmir University which he had joined in 1982, Andrabi was among a number of students suspended for holding demonstrations against police deployment in the campus.
He refused to oblige when authorities demanded an apology in lieu of revoking his suspension, and approached Muzaffar Hussain Beig for legal help.
Impressed by his brilliance, the noted lawyer urged him to join his firm as his junior, a professional association that continued for quite some time until he opened his own office in 1987.
He was severely tortured in custody for protesting against the execution of Muhammad Maqbool Bhat on February 11, 1984, the experience further strengthening his resolve.
On being released, his first concerns were about the condition of detainees, and he filed a petition in the High Court, succeeding in securing a landmark judgement: relatives would now be allowed to visit detainees in jails every fortnight.