Indian Police Officer beaten to death by angry mob outside Srinagar mosque

Indian Police Officer beaten to death by angry mob outside Srinagar mosque

SRINAGAR: A police officer was beaten to death by an angry mob outside a mosque in the volatile disputed region on Friday, said police.

According to details, Muhammad Ayub Pandith late, on Thursday, was confronted and beaten to death by a mob outside a mosque after he fired his pistol injuring three in the main city of Srinagar. 

The worshippers suspected the police officer of being a government spy as he was taking pictures with his mobile outside Jamia Masjid in Srinagar when Muslims hold a late night prayer during the festival of Lailat-ul-Qadr. As the mob attacked him, his colleague escaped immediately. 

“Some youths at that point immediately pounced on him, snatched his weapon and more people came and started beating him up,” a witness told AFP, refusing to give his name.

According to the police statement, Pandith was a deputy superintendent with the security wing of the state police.

Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the murder in a tweet.

“Mob violence and public lynching is outside the parameters of our values and religion,” he said. “We cannot allow state brutality to snatch our humanity and values.”

The incident has increased aggression among the residents as they clashed with police since the authorities have restricted their movement due to a fear of protest. 

The incident came a week after suspected rebels in Indian-held Kashmir ambushed a police patrol, killing five officers. Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. 

Rebels have fought with Indian soldiers bravely for decades demanding independence or merger with Pakistan. Over the past year the violence has increasingly drawn in civilians, with young students holding mass protests and whole communities coming out to throwing stones at government forces during operations targeting militants. Officials say dozens of young men have joined the rebel ranks since security forces killed a hugely popular rebel commander last July.