Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, Muneer Ahmad Khan, on Monday said that slain Hizb militant Sajad was one of the accused in the DySP Muhammad Ayoub Pandith’s lynching case.
Sajad was killed in an encounter with forces on July 11 in Beerwah area of Budgam district.
Khan said that besides Sajad, police has arrested 20 accused in the case and the investigation is going on in the right direction. “Besides, being involved in stone pelting cases Sajad was also involved in stabbing cases.”
Pandith, a Deputy SP in Jammu and Kashmir Police’s security wing, according to police was on access control duty in Jamia Masjid on June 22, the night of Shab-e-Qadr, when he was lynched by a group of miscreants.
Addressing a presser in Srinagar, Khan said that the investigations have revealed that the people accused in the lynching case came out of the Jamia after offering 8 Rakaats of Taraweeh. “They were raising Zakir Musa slogans and were going to welcome Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.”
He said that while Pandith was coordinating with his men, a group of people countered him and asked him to prove his identity, which he resisted to. “They later started heckling him. The DySP in self-defence fired a few shots below the waist line,” Khan added.
The group of people later dragged him and thrashed him with iron rods. “We have recovered an iron rod, besides, Pandith’s Cell Phone, Pistol and Identity Card.”
Asked if it was a dereliction of duty by other fellow colleagues of Dy SP, Khan said, “No. There was noise around, huge rush and it was dark and nobody knew who the guy was.”
The IGP, who was also flanked by SSP Srinagar Imtiyaz Parray and DIG central Kashmir range, Gh Hassan Bhat, further said that after preliminary investigations, police arrested the three people who were hit by the bullets of Pandith. During custodial investigations, “They led us to some vital conclusions and consequently we arrested 20 more people involved in the case.”
Khan said that there will be more arrests likely into the case and that the investigations will continue and will be completed in stipulated time.
Khan said that people voluntarily including civil society members came forward and helped us in the investigations. They led us to the right conclusions and investigation. He appreciated the cooperation of general public.
Khan said that investigation into the case is going on expeditiously. “Some more arrests are expected. We are hopeful that investigation will be completed in stipulated time,” he added.
Asked whether Police is going to question Mirwaiz, the police chief said, “Yes, if need arises.”