Last week when Shab – e _Qadar (night of light) was being celebrated across Kashmir and thousands of devotees were busy in prayers seeking blessing from the Almighty, a DySP Mohammad Ayub Pandit was caught by a group of ruffians outside the Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta chowk. Pandit, 57 who was affiliated with security wing was assigned to guard the devotees, since he was a local and lived close to the Jamia Masjid was identified by some people and they started beating him. The officer was dragged inside the premises of the mosque and lynched to death. The frenzied mob later dragged his lifeless body out from the compound of the mosque and kept in corner of the road. When this gruesome murder was being committed by the mob, some people had tried to save the police officer but nobody paid heed to them, instead they too were threatened by vigilante group who were raising slogans. This is the first time when such a heinous crime was committed in Valley, especially during the holiest night. The incident was condemned by one and all including Hurriyat chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. However time has come when we should give serious thought to happenings unfolding around us. Kashmir has never been like this and people were always humble even towards their worst enemies. However it seems the time has changed and whatever is happening around us is reflection of our society with the things changing fast for worse. Time has come when being citizens of this place we should raise our voice against those elements who are pushing our society towards anarchism. Though to investigate the matter, the government has already constituted a Special Investigative Team but officials should also probe why Pandith was forced to discharge his duty without escort in this sensitive locality. Even family of DySP has sought answers why senior officer was left without proper security and why police failed to respond on time. Apart from punishing the culprits the top police officers who have shown laxity should be punished. It was in the morning police came to know that one of their senior officers have been lynched, others senior police officers were denying that any of its men were inside the mosque performing duty. The government should also fix accountability, instead of using only as a publicity ploy to defame the separatist leadership; the government should come up the evidence and facts what had really happened with the police officer. Also those who are leading the separatist movement should ponder what is wrong that has taken place at Jamia Masjid which is considered as the power centre of the Hurriyat chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and separatism. Only mere condemnation of this incident is not sufficient, instead the separatists should use all its power that next time incident like this will not be repeated. On the other hand government should also seriously think why such extreme incidents are taking place in our society. Those who were involved in lynching of the police officer took the lead from the cow vigilante groups who are active in different parts of country. Time has come when all the issues related to vigilantism whether in Kashmir or any part of country should be dealt with an iron hand, otherwise we are on verge of losing the human values and ethos of civilization.
The editorial appeared in print edition of 28-5 July 2017