Avoid Id Prayers In Public, Cops Advised After Srinagar Officer's Killing

Deputy Superintendent Mohammed Ayub Pandith

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) June 24: Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Saturday termed death of Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohammed Ayub Pandith a "cold-blooded" murder.

A day after the gruesome lynching of a police officer that left killed him drew outrage across the valley, police today formed a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to probe the barbaric incident.

In recent developments connected with the case, Jammu and Kashmir police has identified 12 persons in connection with the case, out of which 5 have already been arrested.

Pandith died after a mob brutally attacked and stoned him outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on Thursday night.

Witnesses said worshippers confronted Pandith, who was not wearing a uniform, as he took pictures with his mobile phone outside the Jamia (Grand) Mosque in Srinagar during the festival of Lailat-ul-Qadr, when Muslims hold late-night prayers.

"How long will we lose our men to people, who like mad dogs, chase us because we happen to belong to the police department?" he added.

Three people were injured by the pistol firing.

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Police personnel have been advised to offer prayers in mosques in district police lines or protected mosques.

But there was no immediate response from senior personnel on the ground at the time of the incident, police sources said.

"The other police personnel of security wing were deployed inside the compound for security goal".

Immediately after the incident, Ayub's body was taken to the police control room for identification and completion of other legal procedures.

Over the past year the violence has increasingly drawn in civilians, with young students holding mass protests and whole communities coming out to throw stones at government forces engaged in anti-militant operations. "Police morale is very high", Vaid said.

Police chief S.P. Vaid said the officer was on duty at the mosque and some people "among the worshippers lynched and martyred him".

When asked whether the lynching of Dy SP Pandith was pre-planned, DGP said, "The investigation is going on".

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