Twenty people, accused of the public lynching of deputy superintendent Ayub Pandith, were arrested in Kashmir over the course of the last month, said Kashmir IG Munir Khan, during a press conference on Monday. "Another accused, Sajad Ahmad Gilkar, was killed in an encounter in Budgam on July 12", Khan said.
Posted in Police's Security Wing, personnel of which are not supposed to wear a uniform, the DSP, the IGP said, was there to "secure all the devotees including Mirwaiz". He further said that investigation into the case is going on "expeditiously and effectively".
He said that more arrests are expected to complete the investigation, the report of which will be submitted for judicial determination within the stipulated time frame.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohammad Ayub Pandith was stripped and stoned to death by a mob of more than 200 outside the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar's Nowhatta area on June 22. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to expedite the probe in the case. "He was named in 14 FIRs including stabbing cases", he said. "We realised he was missing after he skipped a court hearing in one of the cases on June 29", the IGP said in a presser.
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IG Munir Khan said that the police expect to arrest more people accused in the case soon.. "They started heckling him and the number of miscreants swelled, and the rest is history", Khan added. "On investigation, it was revealed that he had joined a militant outfit", he said.
Responding to a question, Khan said that prima facie it appears that two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants with the help of two Over Ground Workers carried the attack on the vehicle, leaving 8 pilgrims dead.
The IGP rejected any dereliction of duty on part of policemen during the lynching incident. "A damaged service pistol, his identity vehicle and his cellphone have also been recovered", Khan said. We all know there was lot of noise and it was pitch dark when the incident happened. We did not know it was him. "It was only in the morning that he was identified", he said.
He, however, admitted that there was no liaison between the DySP and concerned police station about their duty. "We have also investigated the sequence of events that took place that night, which include welcome of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq by people there, and pro-Zakir Musa slogans by a group of youth", he said. "But we are still looking into it", he said. Khan added that after talking to the accused and custodial questioning, "they led us to other accused that were involved".