Mumbai, February 11: Seven years ago on February 11, a low-profile 32-year-old advocate Shahid Azmi was killed at his office in Kurla’s Taximen colony in Mumbai. Shahid Azmi, famously known as a crusader for justice was shot on a point-blank range by gangsters claiming that he was fighting cases of terror accused. Azmi, a young lawyer was known for fighting cases of those he always believed were wrongly accused in terrorism cases. On February 11, at around 9:00 PM when Shahid Azmi returned from the court was gunned down by four men who posed as clients in his office located on the ground floor of Taximen’s colony. Also Read - Love Sex Aur Dhokha: Rajkummar Rao's Parents Reacted THIS Way on His First Nude Scene
Here are some of the rare known facts about the lonely crusader who gave his life for others: Also Read - 'Madam' Was Busy Playing 'Election Game': PM Modi Slams UPA Govt Over 26/11 Attacks, Congress Hits Back
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- Shahid Azmi was born and brought up in a slum of Govandi, Shivajinagar in Mumbai where he also spend his childhood. His father died when he was a child.
- At the age of 16, Shahid Azmi was a victim of 1992 riots in Mumbai. Disheartened by the way Muslims were targeted in Mumbai after post-Babri Masjid riots, Azmi left Mumbai and joined a separatist organisation in Kashmir. However, he separated his ways from Kashmiri separatists and returned back to Mumbai in few months.
- After returning from Kashmir, Azmi was arrested by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Delhi Police in 1994. He was arrested on the charges of allegedly ‘conspiring’ to kill India’s top politician. Some reports and Azmi’s confessions suggest that during his remand he was brutually tortured by Delhi police and was forced to confess on false statement gioven to him by Delhi Police Special Cell. The confession resulted in five years of imprisonment for no crime.
- While serving his trial in Tihar jail, in Delhi, Shahid Azmi completed his XII and also completed his Bachelors of Arts.
- In 2001, Shahid Azmi was acquitted of all charges and was released from Tihar jail. After coming back to his hometown Mumbai, Shahid Azmi enrolled himself for journalism and later he completed his law degree from KC College.
- Working briefly for a news desk, Shahid Azmi resigned from his sub-editor’s job and started practising as a defence lawyer for Majeed Memon where he was paid a stipend of Rs 2,000 per month.
- In 2008, Shahid Azmi came into limelight after he filed a petition in the High Court alleging that Swati Sathe, jail suprintendent had tortured 7/11 Mumbai blasts accused. The court had ordered an enquiry into the matter and it was found that the allegations made against Sathe were true.
- In October 2006, Shahid Azmi requested a police protection for himself but the court rejected his plea.
- In his brief career which was just seven years long, Shahid Azmi secured 17 acquittals in high-profile cases including several terror-related cases.
- One of the biggest cases which Shahid Azmi fought was that of Faheem Ansari, a 26/11 terror accused arrested by Mumbai Crime Branch officials for helping Pakistani terrorists. However, when Shahid Azmi stood for Faheem and fought the case at the special court the case was blown out of proportion. After few days of Shahid Azmi’s murder, Faheem Ansari was acquitted by the Special Court and later by the Supreme Court.
- It is quite noteworthy that most of Shahid Azmi’s client were low profile accused who were falsely arrested on terror charges, he never charged a single penny from them and not from even Faheem Ansari.
- Few months after his death, his younger brother Khalid Azmi completed his law degree and took ahead his brothers mission himself.
- It is unfortunate that Shahid Azmi who fought for several victims and helped them to fight for justice, his family still awaits justice.
- In 2013, Bollywood director Hansal Mehta made a biographical film based on Shahid Azmi’s life. The film was appreciated by critics and won two national awards.