Shahid Azmi (32), the lawyer representing Fahim Ansari, one of three men being tried in India for their role in the Mumbai 26/11 attack in 2008, was shot dead on Thursday.
The killers have yet to be identified. “All possible angles are being investigated,” said Deven Bharti, additional commissioner of police (crime).
Fahim Ansari is the man who allegedly provided the terrorists with a map of crucial Mumbai areas.
Azmi was at his office in Kurla, northeastern Mumbai, when the assailants, posing as prospective clients, entered his chamber and fired at least four rounds at him, police said.
“He was under threat,” said Milind Bharambe, deputy commissioner of police.
According to police records, Azmi had been under threat for the last four years after he decided to defend Faizal Sheikh, the alleged mastermind and executor of the July 11, 2006 serial train blasts.
He had lodged a police complaint alleging that the underworld had threatened to eliminate him.
Despite the threat, Azmi was not provided police protection, said Bharambe.
Azmi led a dramatic life. Demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and the subsequent riots were a turning point for him. He went to Jammu and Kashmir to seek arms training and express his solidarity to the separatist movement.
He was arrested in 1994 and convicted to five years imprisonment. While lodged at the Tihar jail, he completed
his graduation and a post-graduate degree course in journalism and mass communication.
After he served his sentence in 1999, he shifted to Mumbai and studied law. He had since then been practicing at various courts here, including the Bombay High Court.