Friday, June 21, 2024

Gulzar Azmi, who fought for falsely accused Muslim youth all life, dies at 89

Gulzar Azmi, Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind leader and known for his legal representation of Muslim youth falsely accused of terrorism, died in Mumbai on Sunday, 20 August.

Azmi, who was 89 years old, had been undergoing hospital treatment for a head injury he suffered in a recent slip and fall accident.

Azmi rose to prominence by spearheading Jamiat’s legal division, which assumed the responsibility of representing numerous Muslim youths wrongly charged with terrorism. Throughout the last decades, Jamiat has championed the legal rights of these accused youth, who were targeted by India’s draconian laws, leading to their prolonged incarceration.

Born in Mumbai on May 1, 1934, Azmi studied up to 5th grade at an Urdu Municipal School. He then had three years of religious education at the Darul Uloom Islamiya.

In 1958, he became the secretary of Jamiat Ulema’s Mumbai unit. Later, in 1968, he became the General Secretary of Jamiat Ulema Maharashtra and in 2002, he became the Vice President.

Azmi has been a part of Jamiat Ulema for more than 60 years. He was also a member of the Maharashtra Minority Commission.

“I won’t stop fighting for justice for the exploited. If they’re left alone, they’ll suffer from biased police investigations,” Azmi had said to TCN news website.

He asked, “I’m not scared for my life. I believe the time, place, and circumstances of my death are already decided. So why should I stop helping the oppressed in society?”

Azmi assisted the Sri Krishna Commission, which investigated the Mumbai serial blasts. He translated the Commission’s report into Urdu, making it available to Urdu readers in the country.

Azmi’s funeral was held at Bada Qabrastan.

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