Senior Advocate Nazir Ahmad Ronga Arrested By Jammu And Kashmir Police: Family

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir: Senior advocate Nazir Ahmad Ronga, a prominent figure in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, was arrested early Thursday morning, his family said.

The arrest was confirmed by Ronga’s son, Adv. Umair Ronga, who took to the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to express his concern. “My father, Adv. N.A. Ronga, Chairman of the J&K High Court Bar Association, has been arrested in a deeply disturbing turn of events,” he said.

Umair Ronga, while sharing videos of developments, further detailed the circumstances of the arrest, stating, “At 1:10 am, a contingent of J&K Police arrived at our home without any arrest warrant, simply 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 members of the J&K High Court Bar Association.”

Family menbers said that Ronga has been lodged at Nishat Police station and is undergoing medical examination.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police was yet to issue a statement over Ronga’s arrest.

The development follows recent revisions within the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA), notably the removal of a paragraph advocating for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute from its constitution.

The amended constitution now focuses on promoting the rights and interests of the legal profession and its members. The revision came after a directive in 2020 from the District Magistrate questioning the alignment of the Bar’s objectives with the Constitution of India, which asserts Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of the country.

In a letter dated July 5, the Bar cited the Supreme Court’s December 23, 2023 judgment on Article 370 provisions as influencing the amendments. The Bar acknowledged its role in legal challenges against constitutional changes implemented in August 2019.

The administration under Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor has consistently denied permission for the JKHCBA to conduct elections over the past five years, citing law and order concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent order by the District Magistrate of Srinagar characterized the Bar as an “unregistered association/body” with a “secessionist ideology.”

In response, the JKHCBA emphasized its nearly century-long history and its pivotal role in upholding the legal justice system. The Bar strongly objected to what it described as the “demonization” and “vilification” of the association, which it asserted was founded on principles of justice and integrity.

Ronga, known for his involvement in the Supreme Court petition against the abrogation of Article 370, had previously been detained on August 9, 2019, just days after the constitutional changes affecting Jammu and Kashmir’s relationship with India.

Nazir Ahmad Ronga currently serves as the ad hoc chairperson of the JKHCBA, with Mian Abdul Qayoom, the long-time president, incarcerated in connection with a murder case of advocate Babar Qadri.

Special Judge NIA Jatinder Singh Jamwal recently granted a 15-day judicial remand for Qayoom, who was arrested on June 25 for his alleged involvement in the 2020 murder conspiracy of advocate Qadri.

Qayoom, a veteran lawyer with over 40 years of experience, opposed extension of police remand but did not contest judicial custody, seeking to be housed at Central Jail Kot Bhalwal for improved medical care. However, the court decided on District Jail Jammu, ensuring adequate medical facilities. The court directed Qayoom’s next appearance on July 20 for necessary medical examinations and care.

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