Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Muneer Khan on Monday said Police will question Kashmir’s chief cleric and Hurriyat (M) chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq “if the need arises”.
He said this while addressing a press conference in Srinagar in connection with the lynching of DySP Ayub Pandit.
Khan said that 20 accused have been arrested so far in the lynching case of DySP outside the Jamia Masjid Srinagar.
“It surfaced that a group of assailants saw the officer checking the security personnel deployed for access control duties of the Jamia Masjid and as soon as the officer came out of the premises of the Masjid, a group of people was raising slogans in favour of militant commander Zakir Musa and supposedly to welcome chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq,” he said
He said as the officer came out, he was called by miscreants and asked for his identity card which he refused to give. “The assailants heckled him. It was during the course of this time, a number of miscreants assembled on the spot who later joined these assailants and started beating the officer leading to his lynching,” IGP Kashmir said.
He said the police officer in self-defense fired some shots from his service pistol below the waistline causing injury to three assailants who were in his immediate proximity and were heckling him. “However, the mob continued to beat him, which ended in his lynching,” Khan said.
When asked whether Mirwaiz would be questioned in connection with the lynching case, IGP Kashmir said “Everyone who needs to be questioned will be questioned.”
Moreover, IGP Kashmir range said slain Hizb militant Sajad was one of the accused in the DySP Muhammad Ayoub Pandith’s lynching case.
Sajad was killed in an encounter with forces on July 11 in Beerwah area of Budgam district.
“Investigation is going on in the right direction. Besides being involved in stone pelting cases Sajad was also involved in stabbing cases,” Muneer Khan said.
Pertinently, Pandith, a Deputy SP in JKP’s security wing, according to police was on access control duty in Jamia Masjid on June 22, (night of Shab-e-Qadr) when he was lynched by a group of ‘miscreants’.
“Our investigations have revealed that the people accused in the lynching case came out of the Jamia after offering 8 Rakaats of Taraweeh following which the incident took place,” he said.
He said the group of people later dragged him (Ayub) and thrashed him with iron rods. “We have recovered an iron rod, Pandith’s Cell Phone, Pistol and Identity Card,” Khan said.
The IGP, however ruled out any dereliction of duty by other fellow colleagues who were accompanying the Dy SP.
“No, there was noise around, huge rush and it was dark due to which nobody knew who the guy was,” he said.
The IGP further said after preliminary investigations, police has arrested three people hit by the bullets of Pandith. “During custodial investigations, they led us to some vital conclusions and consequently we arrested 20 more people involved in the case,” Muneer Khan said.
IGP Kashmir said there will be more arrests likely into the case and that the investigations will continue and will be completed in stipulated time.
“People including civil society members voluntarily came forward and helped Police during investigation. They led us to the right conclusions and investigation. With the help of locals, we were able to arrest main four accused first, who later led us to further arrests,” he said.
The IGP however, said that investigation has so far found that the DySP had not informed the local police station about his duty at the Jamia mosque.