Dy SP lynched in Srinagar by mob; two arrested

Dy SP lynched in Srinagar by mob; two arrested

Dy SP lynched in Srinagar by mob; two arrested
A senior police officer was lynched by an irate mob in old city Srinagar on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday after he allegedly opened fire on a group of people that had caught him taking video of them near a masjid here.

Police have arrested two persons while a third one has been identified in connection with the lynching of Deputy Superintendent of Police (Security) Mohammed Ayub Pandith outside historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta locality here.

Reports and eyewitnesses told DH that a group of youth caught hold of Pandith, who was in civvies, after spotting him taking video of people outside the Jamia Masjid at around 12:30 am. They alleged the officer shoot at the mob with his service pistol in which three people were injured. However, eyewitnesses said, the mob overpowered him and stripped him naked before beating and stoning him to death near Bata Chowk in Nowhatta.

Sources said the officer's security guards ran away after they found the mob too large to be handled. "Pandit belonged to neighbouring Nowpora locality and had been at the masjid post for quite some time. Several people who regularly visited the Jamia Masjid knew him," they said.

State police chief Shesh Pal Vaid while terming the killing as sad and unfortunate, said the officer was checking the access control in the area following a congregation. "An officer being lynched by the very people he had gone to protect proves we have reached a stage where very little difference is left between humanity and barbarism," he told reporters at the sidelines of wreath laying ceremony of Pandith.

"We have arrested two persons and third one has been identified," he said. "Rest of the guilty will face the law too." He justified the firearm injuries to three civilians saying the slain officer had a pistol on him and had the right to self-defence.

The incident occurred when devotees were immersed in the special Shab-e-Qadr (the night of power) prayers and supplications inside the mosques and shrines of the valley.
Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also Kashmir's head priest, while condemning the brutal act of lynching said, "Mob violence and public lynching is outside the parameters of our values and religion."

However, he was quick to add that the "violence that the state has wreaked on us is largely responsible for this kind of brutalization, as the police is being used against the people in the most brutal ways which leads to brutal reactions."

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti while terming the lynching as ‘murder of the trust’ warned the people of Kashmir that they should not test the patience of police, who are "always exercising utmost restraint."

“The Jammu and Kashmir Police is one of the best forces in the country and they are exercising utmost restraint because they believe that they are dealing with their own people. People shouldn’t test their patience,” she told reporters on the sidelines of the wreath laying ceremony of the Dy SP.