Politicians from all quarters have expressed shock and dismay after Mohammed Ayoub Pandith, a deputy superintendent of police in J&K Police, was lynched by an irate mob in Srinagar on Friday.
What had happened?
The police officer was on duty outside old Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid in Nowpora area when a group of youngsters surrounded him, after seeing him allegedly making a video of a demonstration on Thursday night. As per a The Hindu report, a rumour spread that the officer belonged to some “security agencies and was a non-Muslim”. As the mob tried to drag him away, the officer, who incidentally lived just 3 km from the site, opened fire at them, injuring three in their lower limbs. It was after this that the crowd stripped him naked, and lynched him to death with stones.
So far, two people have been arrested by the police and a third has been identified.
Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has called the incident shameful and warned the citizens against testing the patience of the security forces.
“The Jammu and Kashmir Police are showing maximum restrain as they are dealing with their own people, but for how long? Someday when they will lose their patience, then it would become very difficult for the people,” she told ANI News.
Srinagar: Wreath laying ceremony of Deputy SP Mohammed Ayub Pandith of Security beaten to death by mob in J&K’s Nowhatta last night pic.twitter.com/gtrmDY0xF0— ANI (@ANI_news) June 23, 2017
There have been some strong reactions from political leaders across parties:
Kashmiri separatist leader and All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said it was deeply disturbing.
Deeply disturbed & condemn the brutal act at Nowhatta.Mob violence & public lynching is outside the parameters of our values & religion….— Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (@MirwaizKashmir) June 23, 2017
He was a Dy SP in the Security Wing of J&K Police & I understand he was there on security duty for access control at Jamia Masjid. https://t.co/uuddYdbJYc— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) June 23, 2017
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. https://t.co/uuddYdbJYc— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) June 23, 2017
And those surprised by this macabre lynching at Jamia Masjid, please remember they didn’t spare Geelani & Shabir Shah too. Bloody animals!— Junaid Azim Mattu (@Junaid_Mattu) June 23, 2017
The brutal lynching of DySP Md Ayub Pandith marks a new low. Pained beyond words at the horrific incident https://t.co/kulQ0bkY6L— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) June 23, 2017
Really Sad to know about the lynching of Mohd Ayub Pandit of J&K police. Only cowards of the worst kind would do such a reprehensible act.— Shahnawaz Hussain (@ShahnawazBJP) June 23, 2017
(With inputs from PTI)