Srinagar/New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI) The lynching of a police officer outside the Jama Masjid in downtown Srinagar today triggered widespread condemnation from political parties with National Conference leader Omar Abdullah saying those behind the “travesty” should “burn in hell”.
In a strong reaction, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti termed the killing of deputy superintendent of police Mohammad Ayub Pandith as “shameful” and warned people of severe backlash if the police loses its patience.
The Congress expressed serious concern over the “worsening situation” in Kashmir and asked the government what policy it was following in the state which saw jawans and policemen dying every other day.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi termed the lynching as “horrific”, saying the incident marked a new low in the state.
“The brutal lynching of Deputy SP Md Ayub Pandith marks a new low. Pained beyond words at the horrific incident,” he said on Twitter.
Union minister Jitendra Singh described the lynching as an unholy act in the pious month of Ramzan and said the tragic death of the officer is yet another eye opener for the innocent masses of Kashmir.
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 a mosque in downtown area in the early hours today.
“What can be more shameful than this (lynching of officer). I want to say that J-K police is one of the best police forces in the country, they are brave but they are showing maximum restraint (while dealing with law and order situation) because they feel that they are dealing with their own people in J-K.
“But, for how long?” Mehbooba told reporters on the sidelines of the wreath-laying ceremony of the slain officer.
She said the officer had not gone to the mosque for personal work but was there to protect the lives of the people and fulfil his duty.
Calling the lynching height of barbarism, Omar said, “I am personally anguished and devastated by this tragedy. That this happened on the most auspicious night and outside Jamia Masjid is shocking.”
“His death is a tragedy & the manner of his death a travesty. May the people who lynched DySP Pandith burn in hell for their sins,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
The former chief minister of the state announced a donation of Rs 10 lakh on behalf of the party and also a month’s salary as MLA to the police welfare fund to support families of such martyrs.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also condemned the brutal act of killing of Pandith and said it was against Islam and humanity.
“It is a shameful act. Killing a person in the holy month of Ramzan is condemnable. Such thing is against both the Islam and the humanity,” he said.
At the AICC briefing, Congress spokesperson R P N Singh said, “There is complete breakdown as far as law and order is concerned, as far as internal security is concerned. It seems that the Government has no policy, has no kind of action plan and seems that it is not moved by what is happening in J&K.”
Separatist Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq too condemned the lynching of the police officer, saying the “brutal” act was “outside the parameters of our values and religion.”