A violent mob beat to death a Deputy Superintendent rank police officer outside the Jamia mosque in Nowhatta area of Srinagar prompting the police to arrest two youth and probing the role of Hurriyat (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq’s, men in the killing.
According to police sources DSP , Mohammad Ayub Pandit, was beaten to death late last night by an irate mob after he allegedly opened fire at a group of people, who caught him clicking pictures near the mosque in downtown area of Srinagar. The police officer was on the security duty deployed by the security wing of the Jammu and Kashmir police.
Director General of Police (DGP), S P Vaid, while terming the killing as sad and unfortunate, said that two people have been arrested. Talking to reporters after the wreath laying ceremony of the slain police officer, Vaid said that the matter was being investigated. “The official was killed by the mob while he was performing his duties. It’s a very sad and an unfortunate incident’’.
Police officials said that Pandit was seen moving around by people near Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta late last night and he was allegedly clicking pictures of people while they were coming out of the mosque. They said people tried to catch Pandit who fired several shots from his pistol, injuring three persons. “The irate mob then caught hold of him and stoned him to death,’’ said a police official.
His body was taken to police control room for identification and other legal procedures, they said adding the situation in old city has turned tense following the incident. “The mob went on a rampage targeting empty security pickets erected in the area,’’ said a security official.
Police reinforcement were rushed in to restore normalcy in the area. Muslims across Kashmir were observing Shab-e-Qadr (the night of power) with night-long prayers and supplications being made inside the mosques and shrines of the valley at the time of the incident.
Authorities have already announced restrictions on movement of people in areas falling under the jurisdiction of seven police stations of the city as a precautionary measure. The restrictions were announced to maintain law and order as separatists had called for protests after Friday prayers against killing of a civilian in forces’ action on protesters in Kakapora area of Pulwama district yesterday.
Two of the three suspects have been arrested for lynching and a hunt is on for the third, Vaid said. He said that the separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s men were involved in the Thursday night killing of Deputy Superintendent of Police Ayub Pandith.
“We have identified three people and two of them have been arrested. The third will be arrested soon,” he said, adding that “definitely his (Mirwaiz’s) men are involved in the murder”.
“He was murdered by the same people whose protection he was ensuring. Those who were involved would face the law,” he said. Vaid said Pandith was frisking visitors to the mosque to ensure no one was carrying weapons.