Srinagar: Police on Monday said they have arrested 20 persons involved in the lynching of DySP Ayoub Pandith and more arrests are likely soon.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Munir Ahmad Khan told reporters in Srinagar that the investigation in the case is near completion. “Some more arrests are expected to complete the investigations,” he said.
DySP Mohammad Ayoub Pandith was lynched outside Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta on the night of July 22, when he was on access control duty on the auspicious night of Shab Qadar.
Police claimed that slain militant Sajad Ahmad Gilkar of Nowhatta, who was killed along with two associates in an encounter at Redbugh area in Budgam district on July 12, was one among the accused in the case.
“Accused Sajad was involved in 14 cases including a stabbing case. After the lynching incident, he went underground and joined a militant outfit,” the IGP said.
He said that more arrests are expected to complete the investigation, the report of which will be submitted for judicial determination within the stipulated time frame.
He said the case was first of its kind in the Valley. “Only four persons as main accused were arrested at the initial stage of investigation, but questioning of these accused led police to detain more accused,” Khan said.
He said that help from the public has been encouraging for the police.
“Police has recovered the important pieces of evidence including the weapon of offence (Iron Rod), Identity Card, Service Pistol (in a damaged condition) and the cell phone of the deceased officer after the disclosures by the main accused,” he said.
Khan said that the slain DySP had fired from his pistol in self-defence when he was attacked by the crowd.
Khan said that the police came to know in the morning that the person lynched to death was a policeman.
“It was pitch dark when the incident happened. We didn’t know till the morning that the lynched person was a police officer. There was no negligence on part of the police on duty to help the slain cop,” Khan said while replying a question.
Khan said that there was no liaison between the slain DySP and the local police station about the acess control duty.
Khan said that police had investigated the case through all angles. “We have also investigated the sequence of events that took place that night, which include welcome of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq by people there, and pro-Zakir Musa slogans by a group of youth,” he said.
The IG added that police would also question the Mirwaiz in the case, if the need arises.
The IG said that FIR No. 51/2017 under Sections 302, 148, 149, 341, 392 RPC and 13 Unlawful (P) Act was registered in Police Station Nowhatta in the case.
“During investigations, statements of a number of eyewitnesses have been recorded before the court of CJM under Section 164-A CrPC,” he said.
He said that the post-mortem report revealed “fatal head, face injuries resulting in vital organ damage and spontaneous death of the officer.”