SP Transferred After Ayub Pandith’s Lynching Outside Jamia Masjid

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Jammu: Sajad Khaliq Bhat, the Superintendent of Police for North Srinagar, was transferred following the lynching of Deputy SP Mohammed Ayub Pandith in Jammu and Kashmir, news agency ANI reported early morning.

Pandith died after a brutal mob attack outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on Thursday night. Pandith, who was on frisking duty outside the Jamia Masjid, was reportedly clicking pictures of people coming out of the mosque.

The led to an altercation, causing Pandith to fire three shots from his service revolver in self-defence. The irate mob then caught hold of him, stripped him naked and stoned him to death.  “He tried to free himself and even fired in self-defence, injuring three. But the mob managed to lynch him,” sources told India Today on Friday.

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Notably, Pandith was in mufti while posted outside the Jamia Masjid as Jammu and Kashmir policemen assigned to the security wing do not wear uniforms while on duty.

Pandith’s lynching evoked sharp, all-round condemnation, with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti calling it “shameful”. The Jammu and Kashmir police shows “a lot of restraint in dealing with their own people”, Mufti added.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also strongly censured the attackers, saying they should ‘burn in hell.’ “His (Pandith’s) death is a tragedy & the manner of his death a travesty. May the people who lynched DySP Pandith burn in hell for their sins”, Abdullah said in a message posted on Twitter.

DSP Mohammad Ayub Pandit got an order from Jammu and Kashmir Police Headquarters asking him to be on duty at Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of Srinagar.

The cop reached the mosque for his duty from home which was 3 km away. He was posted at the gate on “access duty” in plain clothes but was armed.

Ayub went inside the mosque to offer prayers during which some people spotted the weapon on him and left some devotees angry. However there is another contradictory report which says the policeman was doing surveillance activities inside the mosque.

The DSP came out of the prayer area of the mosque when he was confronted by other people. One version of the story says that he was found clicking pictures of the mosque with his phone which angered the devotees. Heated arguments ensued and people charged at him. He was identified as a police officer all along since he was a local. Army sources however say since he was a local and a police officer, DSP Ayub was the target and the lynching was pre-planned. His bodyguards fled and in panic he fired. The horrific act of lynching starts.

The guards have told the investigators that they were relieved by the DSP who asked them that it was an important day and they should be with their families. June 23 is the last Friday of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

This theory is being investigated as guards are not supposed to leave the officer on their own. Deputy Superintendent Mohammad Ayub Pandit was stripped naked and stoned to death by the mob.

Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who delivers sermons at the historic mosque in old Srinagar city’s Nowhatta area every Friday after prayers, arrived at the spot.The battered body was handed over to the police which could not identify him.

Family calls up police that the DSP had not reached back home. Search starts and police zeroes on the dead body. Family identifies it as the DSP’s body.