Srinagar: Another Police officer was lynched to death yesterday night outside Jama Masjid at Nowhatta in Srinagar by a mob while he was performing his duty. during Shab-e-Qadr.
The officer killed is identified as Deputy SP Mohammed Ayub Pandith of Security wing. The unfortunate incident happened yesterday night during Shab-e-Qadr outside Jama Masjid where Valley’s head priest Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was leading prayers and delivering sermon inside the mosque.
“Another police officer sacrificed his life in the line of duty. DySP Mohammed Ayub Pandith of Security attacked and beaten to death by a mob at Nowhatta last night,” said a police spokesman.
According to the Hindustan Times, the Director General of Police SP Vaid told that the officer was checking the access control in the area following a congregation.
“When he came out after checking access control in the area, he was surrounded by some miscreants who started manhandling him and asking for his identification. Initial investigation revealed that there was an altercation and the officer fired to get away from the mob. He was, however, overpowered and killed near Bata Chowk in Nowhatta area,” Vaid said.
According News agency Press Trust of India reports a group of people had earlier spotted the policeman taking photographs outside the mosque. He opened fire injuring three civilians when they tried to catch him the report said.
The mob stripped him naked before stoning the officer to death as the rumour spread he belonged to some “security agencies and was a non-Muslim” according to reports. The injured youngsters were shifted to Srinagar hospital.
According to the Police official, the policemen had to resort to opening aerial firing to retrieve the officer’s body from the people, as protestors clashed with security forces after the killing. The police official also said, “all policemen were safe”.
This is not the first time such an incident happened outside Jama Masjid as the area is prone to violent attacks and clashes during occasions like Shab-e-Qadr.
Though the incident had no impact on the prayers that were being held in the mosque, it did follow pro-Pakistan and pro-militant slogans in the area. The Police had to open tear gas fire after protesters clashed in the area.
The authorities seeing the chain of events and killing of civilians and militants have decided to impose a curfew under section 144 in seven police stations in Srinagar to contain the situation in the area after the last week incident where six policemen were gunned down by mobs and yesterday’s incident.
While Mirwaiz was planning to deliver the sermon on last Friday of the ongoing holy month Ramadan at the mosque, no Friday prayers will be permitted at the mosque due to the curfew like restrictions in the area, The Hindu reported.