Advocates Nazir Ahmed Ronga, Mohd Ashraf Bhat Kicked Out of National Webinar for Anti-State Credentials

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Webinar for National Legal Fraternity Organized By Rajasthan High Court Lawyers’ Association, Jodhpur

Advocate Nazir Ahmed Ronga and Advocate Mohd Ashraf Bhat, President and Secretary respectively of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Srinagar, have been kicked out of the National Webinar for Legal Fraternity on June 21.

The webinar was organized by the Rajasthan High Court Lawyers Association, Jodhpur. The Chief Guest for the webinar was Justice Shri Dinesh Maheshwari, Judge, Supreme Court of India. The Distinguished Guests for the webinar were Justice Shri Sangeet Raj Lodha, Senior Judge, Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, Rajasthan and Shri Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, New Delhi.

On June 18, the Rajasthan High Court Lawyers Association, Jodhpur circulated a letter to all Bar Associations of the country. The letter, issued on the association’s letterhead, stated the following:

Rajasthan High Court Lawyers Association, Jodhpur, withdraws the invitation to Advocate Nazir Ahmed Ronga and Advocate Mohd Ashraf Bhat, President and Secretary respectively of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court Bar Association Srinagar, for the National Webinar for Legal Fraternity scheduled to be held on June 21.

It is extremely shocking for us to learn that Mr. Ronga was booked by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir UT under the Public Safety Act after the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution. The documents for action against Mr. Ronga stated that he was affiliated with Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat Conference. The government documents on Mr. Ronga stated that as a lawyer, Mr. Ronga has consistently tried to defend the separatists in courts and claim innocence for them. He had organized seminars, rallies and formulated various programmes with a purpose to fuel young brains in the wrong direction.

It is also shocking for us to learn that Advocate Mohammad Ashraf Bhat is a staunch supporter of separatism in Kashmir. We have learnt that Mr. Bhat was detained under the Public Safety Act in August 2019 for preventing him from disrupting public peace and order.

We are deeply anguished and regretful for this unfortunate incident wherein a routine invitation sent to ALL the Bar Associations in Union of India reached inadvertently in hands of some separatists hands who are unfortunately office bearers at their Bar Associations.

This bonafide error may kindly be overlooked. Immediately on coming to know of this, remedial measures to prevent their participation have been taken by us.”

Nine Sitting Judges of the Rajasthan High Court Jodhpur were Special Guests for the Webinar. The Keynote Speakers for the webinar were Dr. Naresh Trehan, Cardiac Surgeon and Chairman, Medanta, Gurugram, and Dr. Rajesh Puri, Director, Medanta.

The initial invitation for the webinar was circulated in the first half of June. Ronga and Bhat circulated the invitation letter through some Bar Association employees to the lawyers’ fraternity of Kashmir and Jammu. Ronga’s son Uzair Ronga and their close associates Surat Shakeel Baktoo and Mansoo Wadoo also circulated the letter on various Whatsapp groups and Facebook pages of Kashmir and Jammu.

Through the large circulation of the invitation in the union territory, Ronga and Bhat were attempting to establish that they are held in high esteem by the lawyers’ fraternity of India.

They also wanted to send out the message that they get invited to the most elite events of the community.

When the nationalist lawyers of Kashmir and Jammu saw the invitation, they were shocked to learn that two rogue advocates who have been part of Kashmir’s terror ecosystem for decades have been invited to the prestigious national webinar.

Expose on Kashmir’s Terror Advocacy in MAC Letter Edition 15

On May 12, MAC Letter, a digital newsletter published by Media Analysis Centre (MAC) Kashmir had highlighted that Nazir Ahmed Ronga is part of the diabolical nexus of lawyers who offer free legal services for separatists, stone pelters and Over-Ground Workers (OGWs). MAC Letter had also highlighted that Ronga and Mian Abdul Qayoom are terror advocates glorified as human rights activists.

Qayoom and his cohorts terrorize young lawyers and create deep fear psychosis, forcing them to defend separatists, stone-pelters and OGWs etc. Prejudiced sections of the media have consistently projected these lawyers as human rights activists. The fact remains that these lawyers and their friends in Kashmir media suffer from selective amnesia. These lawyers protest the abuses of human rights, if any, by the security forces. But they protect habitual offenders of human rights in Kashmir – the terrorists and their Over Ground Workers (OGWs). They never speak up for those brutally killed and maimed by the terrorists.

Adv Mohammad Ashraf Bhat

Adv Mohammad Ashraf Bhat is the General Secretary of Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA), Srinagar. Bhat has served as the General Secretary of KHCBA on several occasions. In 2002, Bhat had gone with three other Kashmiri advocates, namely Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, G N Hagroo, and Mohammad Amin Bhat. The four had gone to attend a seminar on Peace Through Law organized by the Pakistan Bar Association at Islamabad. During their meeting with General Pervez Musharraf, the four-spoke in favour of peace in Kashmir. For this, they were thrashed at Islamabad by men deputed by the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan Army. The four lawyers were warned to work strictly as per ISI directions and never utter a word about peace in Kashmir. Since then, Bhat has loyally toed the Pakistan line in Kashmir. He has remained a staunch supporter of separatism in Kashmir, and backs terrorism in every form. After the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A, Bhat was detained under PSA for preventing him from disrupting public peace and order.

Bhat is very close to Miyan Abdul Qayoom. Qayoom is the longest-serving president of Kashmir High Court Bar Association. He and Ronga have maintained the self-proclaimed stance of being the sole proprietors of Kashmir High Court Bar Association.

Mian Qayoom has been personally lying low, fearing state action against him. But his anti-national activities have not come to an end. He is at the top of the food chain of those who create a deep, unshakable fear psychosis among young lawyers who want to refuse to litigate cases in favour of anti-state elements. The next-gen lawyers want to pursue civil matters of infrastructure and finance law. Mian Qayoom and his cohorts professionally suffocate them and choke their legal career. The young budding lawyers are forced to toe the terror line for their professional and social survival.

Rajasthan HC Lawyers Association Expresses Shock

KZINE contacted Mr Sunil Joshi, President of Rajasthan High Court Lawyers Association and asked him about the invitation for Nazir Ahmed Ronga and Mohd Ashraf Bhat. Mr Joshi said that invitations for participation in the national webinar were sent to the President and General Secretaries of the Bar Associations of the Union of India. When informed of the credentials of Nazir Ahmed Ronga and Mohd Ashraf Bhat, Mr Joshi expressed total shock. He said that he had never imagined that the President and General Secretary of such an august legal body would have such tainted credentials. Mr Joshi rushed to clarify that the invitation to Ronga and Bhat would be withdrawn immediately. In a text message sent to Ronga and Bhat, Mr Joshi stated:

Due to an inadvertent error, your name and picture were incorporated in the poster of the webinar we are conducting. After knowing your antecedents, I am constrained to withdraw the invitation extended to you.

Desperate Face-saving by Ronga and Ashraf

On June 18, Ronga and Ashraf wrote to the President of the Rajasthan High Court Lawyers Association. The letter was written on the letterhead of High Court Bar Association, Srinagar, Kashmir. It read: In response to your invitation letter dated June 9, 2021, we would like to inform you that we are highly thankful to your good self for inviting us to the Covid-19 conference/webinar organized by your association as scheduled on 21st June 2021, especially for honouring our participation as “Guest of Honour”.

Due to our personal reasons and unavoidable engagements, we are not in a position to attend the conference on the said date. Thanking you once again for your kind gesture.

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