Mob lynches DySP in Srinagar; 2 arrested

Mob lynches DySP in Srinagar; 2 arrested

 A senior police officer was lynched by an irate mob in old city Srinagar on the intervening night of Thursday-Friday after he opened fire on a group of people who caught him taking a 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 Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta locality here.

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 claimed the officer shot 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.

“Pandith belonged to neighbouring Nowpora locality and had been at the masjid post for quite some time.” State police chief Shesh Pal Vaid, terming the killing 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.

“We have arrested two persons and the third one has been identified,” he said, adding, “Rest of the guilty will face the law too.”

He justified the firearm injuries to three civilians, saying the slain officer had a pistol and had the right to self-defence.

The incident occurred when devotees were engrossed 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, condemned the lynching. “Mob violence and public lynching is outside the parameters of our values and religion,” he said.

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

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti termed the lynching a ‘murder of trust,’ and warned the people of Kashmir that they should not test the patience of the police, who are “always exercising utmost restraint”.

“The state 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,” she said.

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