Srinagar: Kashmir-based lawyers will resume work in courts on Saturday after Mian Abdul Qayoom, President of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association, returned to Srinagar on Friday morning after facing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi.
Joint Secretary of the Bar, Advocate Anwar-ul-Islam, told Kashmir Reader that a general body meeting of Bar members was held at the High Court in Srinagar wherein it was decided to “resume work in courts from tomorrow”.
“The Bar president presided over the meet and thanked his colleagues and all district bar associations and mufassil court lawyers for support and solidarity,” Islam said.
Qayoom, 67, was summoned by the NIA to New Delhi on September 6 as a witness in the agency’s investigation into alleged funding from Pakistan to Kashmir for “subversive activities”.
The NIA summons to the Bar president led to sharp opposition from the lawyer fraternity, who suspended work in all courts across Kashmir from Monday.
Although Qayoom was within his rights to ask the NIA to record his statement in Srinagar, he instead flew to Delhi to face the investigators who included high-ranking officials of the NIA.
“We returned to Srinagar after boarding 7:15 am flight from Delhi and Qayoom drove to the High Court from his home later to attend the meeting, which lasted for two hours up to 1 PM,” said a lawyer who was part of the 8-member team that accompanied Qayoom to Delhi.
To resume work in courts, the aggrieved lawyers had demanded “honourable return of Mian Abdul Qayoom from Delhi”.
“The Bar called off the strike and will meet next on September 12 to chalk out future strategy,” Islam said.
Qayoom has been asked by the NIA to report back to its Delhi headquarters on September 14.
Islam said that during the Bar meeting Qayoom talked about the NIA questioning he faced. “The questions ranged from the Bar’s activities to the personal and professional life of Qayoom,” Islam said.
He said that five NIA investigators questioned Qayoom on Thursday.
The Bar’s annual elections were scheduled on September 7 but were deferred till further orders by its election commission after Qayoom was summoned by NIA. Qayoom had once again stood for the president’s post.