A senior police officer of Deputy S P rank, Muhammad Ayub Pandith was lynched to death by an unruly mob just outside the main entrance of Kashmir’s Grand Mosque in Nowhatta on Thursday night. The incident happened when the rest of the Muslim world was observing the night of blessings, Laila tul Qadar with religious fervour.
Pertinently, killings were witnessed almost every day in Kashmir, be it the killings of militants or those of policemen, alone in the month of Ramadhan almost 42 lives were lost.
There has been a lot of criticism and condemnation pouring in about the lynching case occurring in downtown Srinagar. The reactions initially came during midnight when the media reports suggested that a police officer has been killed, however, with the advent of dawn, the news of lynching-to-death was confirmed, and thus the intense reactions began to pour in from different quarters on social media.
This time around, the netizens went beyond the convention of criticising J&K Police; netizens reacted sharply to the incidents through their posts and tweets all along the day.
Chairman Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was delivering sermon within the premises of Jamia Masjid when the incident occurred, later, also tweeted about it: “Deeply disturbed & condemn the brutal act at Nowhatta. Mob violence & public lynching is outside the parameters of our values & religion,” he wrote on micro blogging site, twitter.
Former Chief Minister and working President, National Conference also condemned the incident sharply and wrote: “His death is a tragedy & the manner of his death a travesty. May the people who lynched DySP Pandith burn in hell for their sins,” on Twitter. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi also commented on the incident saying that J&K is being pushed back several decades.
Rahul Gandhi condemned the killing and termed it a “new low”.
Gandhi, in a series of tweets said: The brutal lynching of DySP Mohammad Ayub Pandith marks a new low. Pained beyond words at the horrific incident.
“The brutal lynching of DySP Md Ayub Pandith marks a new low. Pained beyond words at the horrific incident”
Heartbreaking to see J&K being pushed back several decades because of the complete failure of the PDP/BJP Govt
High Court advocate, Babar Qadri while reacting to the incident wrote on Facebook: “Lynching whether in Daadhri or at Jamia Masjid is of same nature we need to condemn this mindset. Although Indian forces have done more brute acts than this but for those who claim to be subscribing to Islamic ideology must hang their heads in shame in case this event happened in their presence and they kept mum. There needs to be wide spread condemnation and Kashmiri people should strengthen resistance by negating the hooliganism and anarchist mindset.”
Social media is abuzz with condemnations and accusation, with some stating that ultimately, it is a loss of a human life, “a cop of utmost integrity. A people’s cop, with an impeccable track record! Result: Hooligans lynched him to death. Make no mistake, it is a murder and the perpetrators need to be brought to book at earliest,” wrote Furqan Muharkan on Facebook.
However, a section in social media said that the lynching in no way can be justified, but ‘they’ don’t need lessons on lynching from people living in rest of the country, where such incidents are rampant.
Gowhar Geelani, a Srinagar based journalist, while condemning the act wrote: “Barbaric. Inhuman. The act of stoning a police officer, DySp Ayub Pandith, in Nowhatta is shocking. Must be strongly deplored. In many pockets of mainland India, the dastardly acts like cow vigilantism, lynching humans on suspicion of eating or storing beef and beating people to death have social sanctity. Violators enjoy political ashirvad from a rightwing party, but this infection should stay away from Kashmir.”
Gowhar wrote that “Only two days back, Indian troops burnt bodies of three rebels in Pulwama and killed a protesting civilian in cold blood. Kashmir doesn’t need moral lessons from cow vigilantes, gau rakshaks and mob lynching republic. At the same time, we must reflect deeply on yesterday’s unfortunate and dastardly incident.”
Sameer Bhat, a Dubai based Kashmiri journalist in his Facebook post, while referring to the lynching incident and to the killing of militants in Kakapora, Pulwama, where their bodies were charred to death, wrote: “Lynching someone is as horrific as burning someone alive. We must all reject these acts of bloodsport. | #Kashmir.”