DSP lynched by mob outside Srinagar's Jamia Masjid
A deputy superintendent of police was stripped naked and stoned to death by a mob outside the historic Jamia Masjid here in a bizarre incident which drew all-round condemnation, including from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and separatist Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Describing the incident as "shameful", the Chief Minister wondered how long the police would show restraint as she warned that there could be a backlash if the force loses patience.
Mirwaiz, who delivers sermons at the historic mosque in old Srinagar city's Nowhatta area every Friday after prayers, condemned the incident, saying it was "outside the parameters of our values and religion".
DSP Mohammad Ayoub Pandith was stripped and stoned to death by the mob at around 12.30 AM on Friday when he was caught allegedly clicking pictures of the people coming out of the mosque after 'Shab-e-qadr' prayers, police sources said.
When the mob attacked him, Pandith opened fire from his pistol, injuring three persons.
"The DSP was posted at the access control of the mosque to prevent miscreants from vitiating the atmosphere so that people could offer prayers in peace. But a few among those, for the security of whom he had been deployed there, lynched him," Director General of Police S P Vaid said terming the incident as "very unfortunate".
Quoting preliminary investigation, the police chief said the mob attacked the DSP when he was coming out of the mosque after checking the access control.
"When the DSP was coming out after checking the access control of the mosque, some miscreants caught hold of him while raising slogans and started beating him up," he said.
Vaid said two persons have been arrested so far and a third has been identified.
"All of them (involved in the lynching) will face the law," the DGP told reporters on the sidelines of the wreath- laying ceremony for the slain officer at district police lines here.
He said an investigation into the case is on.
Former chief minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah, while condemning the killing, said his death was a tragedy and its manner a travesty.
"May the people who lynched DSP Pandith burn in hell for their sins," he posted on Twitter.