Syed Tawqeer Ahmad

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Soon after the 2009 IAS topper Shah Faisal resigned from his services to float his own party, many followed the suit. Syed Tawqeer Ahmad, Principal Sessions’ judge Anantnag is one among them. He resigned on January 1, 2019, almost four years ahead of his slated superannuation in 2023, to join politics.

Initially, it was being speculated that he might plunge to join Shah Faisal. But in a surprising turn of events, on March 17, Tawqeer joined the National Conference (NC). He was welcomed by the former Chief Minister and NC vice president Omar Abdullah into the party.

Apparently, he has been given the Kokernag constituency in the upcoming assembly elections. But he is quite busy in campaigning for himself, and right now, for the party candidate, Husnain Masoodi, also a retired judge.

But the judge Tawqeer was caught in his own web within days after he started moving around. A video showing the former judge addressing a huge public rally in Matigabran village of the Kokernag was heard telling the people that they must do what they want to and he will take care of the situation.

“I have come to know that the forest department has been blocking some roads for the public. You have my permission if anyone comes here, chop off their hands and legs,” Tawqeer was heard saying in the video. He even went to the extent of assuring the people that he “will handle things”, after they commit the act.

The video was viral on social media and the cops took it as an instigation to the gullible people to attack the forest department staff.

Police quickly registered an FIR against Tawqeer for instigating people. It is almost one of the rare cases where a session’s judge was booked for his hateful remarks. Whether or not the case will move beyond the registration of a case is immaterial.

But judge Tawqeer is known for such controversies. Earlier, it was his court that acquitted Gulzar Bhat aka Gulzar Peer. Peer moved to home and the police had no option but to re-arrest him.

Judge’s party colleagues say since Tawqeer Sahab has joined a new profession, it will take him a bit of time to pick up the systems and the processes. Tawqeer said he resigned with a purpose: to serve the people. It is great that his next phase of public service starts with a case. Now the judge can be his own pleader.

– Umar Mukhtar

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