From The Asian Age
Mumbai, Feb. 11: In a stunning attack on the legal fraternity, one of the city’s upcoming criminal lawyers, Shahid Azmi, was shot dead in his office in Kurla on Thursday evening.
Azmi was representing Fahim Ansari, a Lashkar-e-Tayyaba cadre charged with preparing the groundwork to help the perpetrators of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
According to the Kurla police, Azmi had just returned from the fast-track court in Sewri to his office at Taximen’s Colony at around 7.30 pm when the attack took place.
Azmi’s office boy, who was in the office along with a couple of junior lawyers, has told the police that three armed men barged inside and fired four to five shots. They then jumped inside a waiting autorickshaw which sped away before anyone could realise what had happened.
Azmi was rushed to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar where he was declared dead on admission.
“Mr Azmi’s office boy cannot clearly recall the assailant’s faces. His statement as well as those of the junior lawyers is being recorded in detail. Further investigations are on,” an officer with the Kurla police station said.
The police is also looking at the cases Azmi was involved in and will check his call records, cellphone and landline, to pinpoint potential suspects.
Meanwhile, a mob of lawyers thronged Rajawadi Hospital as news of the killing spread. A nephew of politician Abu Asim Azmi, the 32-year-old lawyer was arrested and subsequently convicted under Tada when he was 18 for allegedly being involved with Kashmiri radicals.
In Delhi’s Tihar Jail after his conviction, he reportedly befriended Omar Sheikh and Masood Azhar, the two terrorists who were released in exchange for the passengers and crew aboard the Indian Airlines aircraft hijacked to Kandahar in 1999. Azmi studied law while in Tihar where he was spent six years.
Azmi is also alleged to have attended a terrorist training camp in PoK after witnessing atrocities on Muslims during the ’92-93 riots.
After trying his hand at journalism, Azmi became a lawyer in 2003. Before starting out on his own, he worked as a junior lawyer under noted criminal lawyer Majeed Memon.
Azmi has mostly been fighting cases for accused in terrorism cases. He represented many of the accused in the July 11, 2006 serial blasts case, Aurangabad arms haul case and the Malegaon blasts of 2006.