What We Know of Mohd Ayub Pandith, Officer Lynched to Death in J&K

Mohammed Ayub Pandith was stoned to death by an irate mob after he allegedly opened fire at a group of people

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Deputy superintendent of police Mohammed Ayub Pandith who was killed by a mob on Friday. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)

Deputy superintendent of police in Jammu and Kashmir, Mohammed Ayub Pandith, was stripped naked and stoned to death by an irate mob, after he allegedly opened fire at a group of people who caught him clicking pictures near Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta, earlier on Friday.

The police officer was reportedly on duty providing security to Mirwaiz Farooq, who is a separatist leader from the state. Senior police officers reportedly told NDTV that they might not provide security cover to Jamia Masjid henceforth.

His colleagues describe him as “highly qualified and professional”. Speaking to Huffington Post, Dilbagh Singh, ADGP security Jammu and Kashmir said:

[Pandith] Was a highly qualified and professional police officer who always kept duty before himself. He owned and accomplished his assignments dutifully. [He] was one of the very decent and dedicated ones, loved and respected by his friends and colleagues.

Pandith Is Survived by Wife, Two Children

Pandith reportedly was a resident of Nowpara. According to Huffington Post, he was an M Com and also had an LLB degree. He served at the post of SHO for a while after joining the police force in 1990. As deputy superintendent of police, he was posted in the 3rd battalion for security duties, said HuffPost.

Pandit is survived by his wife and two children – a 28-year-old son and a daughter who is 22. According to HuffPost, his daughter is studying to be a doctor in Bangladesh but was in Kashmir to celebrate Eid at home.

Family Claims Security Lapse

His family members claim severe lapses in his security. Given his rank, Pandith’s family claims he was meant to have two bodyguards who fled the spot when the mob turned violent. Since he was not in uniform, the police identified him as one of their own only two hours after the incident, according to an India Today report.

According to the report, Pandith was in plain clothes due to “service regulation” as he was posted in the security wing of J&K police. Though there are conflicting reports, his family claims that Pandith was at the mosque to offer prayers as it was the auspicious night of Shab-e-Qadar. The crowd allegedly saw the pistol he was carrying and confronted him.

When he was asked to show his identity card he opened fire to disperse the mob, reported India Today.

CM Mufti, Omar Abdullah Condemn Incident

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti attended the funeral of the officer.

(Photo: ANI)
(Photo: ANI)
Our police is one of the best police force in the country, showing maximum restraint because they feel they’re dealing with their own people.
Mehbooba Mufti, J&K CM

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also took to Twitter to condemn the death of the police officer.

The police said people tried to catch Pandith, who allegedly fired several shots from his pistol, injuring three persons. The mob then caught hold of him and stripped him naked before stoning him to death, sources said.

His body was taken to police control room for identification and other legal procedures, they said, adding the situation in the old city has turned tense following the incident.

The mob went on a rampage, targeting empty security pickets erected in the area.

Muslims across Kashmir are observing Shab-e-Qadr (the night of power) with night-long prayers and supplications being made inside the mosques and shrines of the Valley.

Authorities had already announced restrictions on movement of people in seven police station areas of the city as a precautionary measure.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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