Separatist Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today condemned the lynching of a police officer by a mob outside the Jamia Masjid here, saying the “brutal” act was “outside the parameters of our values and religion.” Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohammed Ayub Pandith was stripped naked and stoned to death by a mob last night when he was coming out of the mosque after checking access control. “The incident that happened in Nowhatta (in old Srinagar) outside the historic Jamia Masjid, which has always been a centre of spiritual and moral upliftment, is most unfortunate. “I am deeply disturbed by this brutal act. Mob violence and public lynching is outside the parameters of our values and religion,” said the top priest of Kashmir in a statement.
The Mirwaiz, who delivers sermons at the Jamia Masjid every Friday after prayers, said, “it is very important and imperative for us that we do not allow our social fabric to be brutalised and keep our basic values intact.” Earlier, he tweeted: “Deeply disturbed and condemn the brutal act at Nowhatta…. We cannot allow state brutality to snatch our humanity and values.” The chairman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference said such incidents are “detrimental for our freedom struggle”. “If GOI (Government of India) really wants an end to tragedies in Kashmir, let it initiate steps to address the dispute and it will find the resistance leadership and people most forthwith in joining that endeavour,” he said.
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He added that, “repeatedly we keep asking the Indian state to address the Kashmir dispute and initiate steps to resolve it so that bloodshed of Kashmiris and those killed at Line of Control (LoC) is stopped but to no avail.” He also attacked the media. “As usual, … media mill has found grist in this sad death to further its propaganda against the resistance leadership and the movement. They are even reporting falsely that when the incident happened I was present in the mosque. I reached the mosque at 12.15 am while the incident had happened before that,” he said.
Criticising restriction on the movement of people near the Jamia Masjid imposed by the government yesterday, Mirwaiz said, “for the whole year, Muslims of the Valley wait to offer prayers in Jamia Masjid on this most important last Friday of the holiest month of Ramadan to earn reward and seek forgiveness of their almighty. And even that right has been snatched from us by our oppressors.”
Authorities had announced restrictions on 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 killing of a civilian during protests in Kakapora area of Pulwama District yesterday.