FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2010
IMC-USA, an advocacy group dedicated towards safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos was extremely shocked and disheartened to hear that well-known Mumbai based advocate Shahid Azmi was gunned down in broad daylight on February 11 in his office in Taximen’s Colony, Mumbai. Mr. Azmi was defense counsel to numerous Muslim youth who were arrested and detained in cases such as the 2006 Malegaon case in Maharashtra. Reportedly the assailants pretended to be his clients. It is also reported that Mr. Azmi had approached the police about threats to his life; however he was not given security by the government. In his very young but impactful career, Mr. Azmi became the outspoken voice for downtrodden and defenseless youth.
Dr. Hyder Khan, National Vice President and spokesperson for IMC-USA said, "All injustice, particularly murders are injurious to the functioning of a civil society. The democratic system is weakened when government fails to protect the life and liberties of its citizens."
He further added, "Indians owe a great debt of gratitude to brave citizens like Shahid Azmi who are the conscience keepers of the Indian democracy. They risk their safety to take up such cases, to uphold the constitution of India that promises and guarantees justice to the most vulnerable"
IMC strongly feels that the murder of Shahid Azmi is not a murder of an individual only, but rather a brazen effort to intimidate and ultimately obliterate the idea of justice and silence the voice of the Indian conscience. IMC strongly urges the central government of India to conduct an independent and transparent investigation and bring the murderers of Mr. Azmi to justice. The Indian Judicial system and legal experts are the ultimate defense of the Indian Constitution for which many have sacrificed their lives and serve as the core of a civil and secular Indian state.
Dr. Hyder Khan
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