J&K High court bar ad hoc chairman held under PSA | India News – Times of India

SRINAGAR: Senior advocate and ad hoc chairman of J&K High Court Bar Association (HCBA) Nazir Ahmad Ronga was arrested early Thursday from his home in Nishat area of Srinagar, according to his family. He was charged under public safety act (PSA), which allows authorities to detain a person without trial for up to a year.
“At 1.10am, a contingent of J&K Police arrived at our home without any arrest warrant, merely stating, ‘It’s an order from above’ (“uper se order hai”).We are left in a state of shock and profound distress…,” his lawyer son Umair Ronga posted on X. He also posted two videos showing uniformed personnel taking away his father.
Ronga, 75 is a member of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s Awami Action Committee, a constituent of the separatist Hurriyat Conference. Ronga, a former president of the bar association, is the second ex-president to be arrested after Mian Abdul Qayoom Bhat was taken into custody on June 25 for an alleged conspiracy leading to the fatal terrorist attack on lawyer Babar Qadri in 2020.
Bhat, who is now in his late 70s, had authored the constitution of Hurriyat Conference’s Syed Ali Shah Geelani faction in 1993. His son-in-law Javed Iqbal Wani is a serving HC judge. Bhat has been in and out of jail several times.
Ronga’s family said he has been shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu, about 250km from Srinagar. The administration has not issued any statement on his arrest. In Oct 2021, police searched Ronga’s home in cases allegedly involving his son, following accusations of irregularities in three private companies registered in his name.
Ronga’s arrest came a day after the bar association issued a notice for elections of office bearers. J&K administration had not allowed HCBA to conduct elections in the past five years due to the pandemic and fear of a law and order situation. In 2020, the then district magistrate of Srinagar had sought an explanation from the bar regarding its constitution.
In July this year, HCBA dropped the paragraph from its constitution that called for “working towards a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute.” The bar was now preparing for elections before July 31.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq denounced Ronga’s arrest: “To arrest him in such a manner in the middle of the night even without a warrant is highly regrettable. Besides, Ronga sahab is an elderly person and not keeping well.”
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti slammed the arrest. “…GOI (govt of India) hasn’t only failed to end militancy but is venting its frustration by launching a vicious crackdown on helpless Kashmiris. Nazir Ronga is the latest victim of its oppressive actions,” she posted on X.

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