Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti denounced the killing of a police officer and said that the “crime was a murder of trust”.
A deputy superintendent rank officer of police was killed when he opened fire on a group of people who objected to his ‘suspicious activities’ around historic Jamia Masjid during the intervening night of June 22 and 23.
J&K Police identified the slain person as Dy SP Muhammad Ayoub Pandith, who lived in Nowpora area of Srinagar.
The chief minister participated in the wreath laying ceremony of Pandith at Police Control Room Srinagar.
Muslims across Kashmir were observing Shab-e-Qadr (night of power) when the incident took place.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Hurriyat Conference (M) chief, was leading prayers inside the Jamia Masjid located in Nowhatta area of old Srinagar.
Paying tributes to Pandith, Mehbooba said: “The murder is actually a murder of trust. The officer had allowed his guards to go home.”
“Jammu and Kashmir has one of the finest police forces who exercise maximum restraint while dealing with law and order situation,” she added calling the incident shameful.
Mufti said, “Isse bada sharmnaak vakya koi ho nahin sakta (There is nothing more shameful than this).”
She added, “Agar ye suluk karenge inka,agar inka (police) sabar jawab dega to phir shayad purana waqt na aaye road pe gypsy dekhke logon ko bhagna pade (If they (mob) behave like this, if they (police) run out of patience, then old days will come back when people use to run when they see a Gypsy).”
She also praised the police and said that the police forces are constantly attacked by the militants and so the people should understand that they are deployed for the security and safety of the citizens.
“The officer (Dy SP Pandith) was doing his duty who was there to protect his people,” she added.
Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid said that two people have been arrested, third person has been identified. He said, “They will have to face the law. ”
“The official was killed by the mob while he was performing his duties. It’s a very sad and unfortunate incident,” he added.
Deeply disturbed by the incident, Mirwaiz, condemned the “brutal act at Nowhatta”.
“…Mob violence & public lynching is outside the parameters of our values & religion….,” Mirwaiz wrote on micro-blogging social networking site, Twitter.
However, in another tweet which he wrote a minute later from the first one, he added, “We cannot allow state brutality to snatch our humanity & values.”
Pandith took out pistol from his pocket when people questioned his presence. Three civilians were injured in the action who were rushed to hospital.
Later, when news reached police about the incident, reinforcements were rushed to the area. The cops opened fire in air to disperse the protestors and took custody of the dead body of Pandith which lied in Police Control Room Srinagar till wreath laying ceremony.
Condemning the incident, former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, wished “hell for those who killed Pandith”.