Supreme Court lawyer Ehtesham Hashmi who died today morning due to heart attack was surrounded by around 300 lawyers on 28 January inside the Indore district court for appearing to oppose the bail application of a Bajrang Dal leader.
Hashmi who is known for his legal activism against Hindutva forces was threatened inside the court, two weeks before his death, according to Newslaundry website.
Two weeks ago, Hashmi appeared to oppose Bajrang Dal leader Tanu Sharma’s application on behalf of the complainant, Mufti Sabir Ali.
Sharma was among four persons who were arrested for objectionable remarks against Prophet Mohammad during a protest against Pathaan movie on 25 January in Indore.
“Hashmi was not in their good books as last year he secured bail for the Muslim bangle seller…they often used to say within their circles that Hashmi is a PFI agent…the next day, on January 28, around 300 lawyers gathered inside the court to lead an attack on Hashmi. They wanted to set an example so that no lawyer would dare to fight such cases…Sharma got bail…Hashmi stepped out under police protection,” a lawyer who did not wish to be named said to Newslaundry.
Hashmi told the news website that he was threatened inside the court on January 27 but he didn’t give much importance to threats and continued with the argument.
“Next day, the court was packed with lawyers who had come in support of Tanu Sharma. Despite repeated orders of the judge to leave the court, they didn’t step out. I was alerted in advance by my sources that I might be attacked and had requested for police security. Police escorted me outside the court…I am thankful to Indore police,” he said.
Hashmi also sent a defamation notice to Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar. “They ran a totally fake story by indirect reference to me. How can they run news without verifying it?” asked Hashmi.
Hashmi has been very active in giving legal aids to the survivors of anti-Muslim violence. The lawyer had last year secured bail for a Muslim bangle seller who was brutally thrashed by Hindutva activists and arrested by Madhya Pradesh Police.
He was also part of many fact-finding visists including the latest visits to anti-Muslim violence hit regions Tripura and Ujjain.