Srinagar: In a shocking incident, a mob in Srinagar stoned a senior police officer to death on Thursday night, an official said on Friday.
The body of Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohammed Ayub Pandit was recovered on Friday morning from outside the Jamia Masjid in the Nowhatta area of the old city where he was attacked.
When hundreds were busy in prayers during the holiest night of the Muslim calendar called the `Shab-e-Qadr` at the largest city mosque, a group of miscreants attacked Pandit at his post.
DGP SP Vaid termed the killing as sad and unfortunate.
"The official was killed by the mob while he was performing his duties. It's a very sad and unfortunate incident," the DGP said.
He later said that two persons were arrested in the wee hours today in connection with lynching.
"Two persons have been arrested so far and a third has been identified. All of them (involved in the lynching of the officer) will face the law," Vaid told reporters on sidelines of the wreath laying ceremony of slain officer Mohammad Ayub Pandit at district police lines.
News agency PTI had earlier quoted sources as saying that Pandit was seen moving around by people near Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area at 0030 hours.
He was allegedly clicking pictures of people while they were coming out of the mosque.
They said people tried to catch Pandit who allegedly fired several shots from his pistol, injuring three persons.
The irate mob then caught hold of him and stripped him naked before stoning him to death, the sources said.
His body was taken to police control room for identification and other legal procedures.
As per ANI, the deceased DSP was allegedly making a video of the local stone pelting when he was attacked by a mob.
News agency IANS quoted informed sources as saying: “The officer was on frisking duty at the Jamia Masjid. He was carrying out his duties as usual when the miscreants attacked him.”
"He tried to free himself and even fired in self-defence, injuring three. But the mob managed to lynch him," the sources said.
The mob later went on a rampage targeting empty security pickets erected in the area.
Police reinforcement was rushed in to restore normalcy in the area.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Police confirmed the incident and tweeted, "Another officer sacrificed his life in line of duty DySP Mohammed Ayub Pandith of Security beaten to death by mob at #Nowhatta last night."
Another officer sacrificed his life in line of duty DySP Mohammed Ayub Pandith of Security beaten to death by mob at #Nowhatta last night.
— J&K Police (@JmuKmrPolice) June 23, 2017
A wreath laying ceremony was held for the slain officer at 11 am today.
Pandit belonged to Khanyar area which is adjacent to Nowhatta where he was killed.
He had been at the mosque post for quite some time and many locals who regularly visited knew him.
Policemen posted in the security wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Police do not wear the uniform as a matter of service regulation.
Meanwhile, the situation in the old city has turned tense following the incident.
Authorities have already announced restrictions on the movement of people in seven police station areas of the city as a precautionary measure.
The restrictions were announced to maintain law and order as separatists had called for protests after Friday prayers against the killing of a civilian during protests in Kakapora area of Pulwama District yesterday.
(With Agency inputs)