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Grief and gloom in slain officer’s locality

Pain of the bereaved: The daughter of Ayub Pandith with relatives in Srinagar.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Grief and gloom are palpable in the air at downtown Srinagar’s Nowpora Khanyar, the locality where the 57-year-old Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mohammed Ayub Pandith lived. Pandith was lynched to death by a mob outside the city’s Jamia Masjid on Thursday night.

Considered one of Srinagar’s volatile areas, with incidents of stone-throwing and anti-India protests, the entire mohalla (locality) on Friday shut down shops and quickly finished Friday prayers to converge on the lawn of the Pandith residence, housed in a narrow lane, to pay their tributes to the slain officer.

“Pandith was a friendly neighbour, a companion at the mosque and a forthcoming person in the hour of need. He did not deserve death like this,” said a neighbour.

Mr. Pandith’s older sister is inconsolable. She is finding it hard to come to terms with the tragedy that has befallen the family and says she raised her innocent brother and fed him milk as a child.

“Do people go to the Jamia Masjid for prayers or to lynch innocent people. Was he a mukhbir (informer)? Why was my brother murdered?” she asked.

Ayub Pandith

A relative of the officer in mourning.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

 

Daughter unconscious

In the first storey of the three-storey house, Pandith’s elder daughter, pursuing her MBBS in Bangladesh, is unconscious. She had returned home a few days ago to celebrate Eid with her family.

“She was attached to her father and wanted to be with him on Eid. The mob has killed her, too. She may never recover from the trauma and tragedy,” said a relative.

 

For colleagues in the Police Department, Pandith was “a shy police officer”. “He would blush introducing himself. He was too noble to meet this fate,” said a police officer.

The air filled with cries as the casket of the dead man was lifted for its final journey. He was buried at his ancestral graveyard with locals joining to offer funeral prayers.

Born in April of 1960, Pandith is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. Holding degrees as an LLB and a Master of Commerce, he joined the department in 1990 as a Sub Inspector and became a DSP in 2013.

 


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 4:14:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/grief-and-gloom-in-slain-officers-locality/article19136659.ece

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