J&K

After midnight visit to home, J&K police detain HC Bar Association’s chairman; family ‘shocked and distressed’

The Jammu and Kashmir police have detained the chairman of the J&K High Court Bar Association Nazir Ahmad Ronga following a midnight visit to his home in Srinagar.

The family claims they were informed in the morning that advocate Ronga has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

Ronga’s son Umair Ronga, also an advocate at the Srinagar High Court, first posted online, “My father, advocate N A Ronga, has just been arrested in a deeply disturbing turn of events. At 1.10 am, 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. We can only hope this is not another instance of the PSA being misused to intimidate the members of the Bar Association.”

Speaking to The Indian Express, Umair said, “This morning, when he was being taken for a medical check-up, police told us he has been booked under the PSA. We were told that he would be lodged in a jail in Jammu.”

The PSA allows the government to detain a person without trial for up to one year.

Umair said the family has not been informed about the grounds of detention so far. The J&K police did not comment on the detention.

Ronga, who has been the president of the High Court Bar Association several times, has been acting as its chairman since 2020, when the government prevented the association from conducting its annual elections. The last elections were conducted in 2018 and were due in September 2019, but couldn’t be held because of abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and subsequent curfew.

When it announced its elections in 2020, the government said the Bar’s constitution, which termed Kashmir as a disputed region, was not in consonance with the Constitution of India.

Ronga’s arrest came days after the Election Committee of the Bar Association again set the ball rolling for its elections. But when the committee was tasked to complete the elections before July 31, the government again barred it from conducting the polls.

In a recent letter, the Bar, which has around 3,000 members, indicated that it had removed the contentious paragraph from its constitution.

 

© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd

First uploaded on: 11-07-2024 at 11:05 IST


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