DSP lynching case: Downtown youth granted bail by NIA Court

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Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday granted bail to one of the accused in the 2017 lynching case of Mohammad Ayub Pandit, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) of Police.

According to a bail order, accessed by The Kashmir Walla, the accused namely Peerzada Mohammad Waseem challenged, via his counsel Nazir Ronga, that the prosecution has failed to establish or connect the accused with the commission of any offence including one for which he has been charged and is facing trial, as such, the accused applicant herein deserves to be acquitted of the charges framed against him.

“During the course of investigation the three protected witnesses had stated that they had seen some persons named Waseem Genda, Waseem Peerzada and Waseem without providing further details or particulars, identification viz-a-viz parentage or residence of the said manner,” the order reads.

“It was only the basis of the statements of these witnesses that the accused/ applicant herein was charged by this court for the commission of offences mentioned in FIR,” it said. “It has further come in the application that these three witnesses have been examined by the prosecution during the course of recording evidence and all the three witnesses have not spoken anything against the accused applicant.”

On 22 June 2017, Pandit was lynched to death when people were observing Shab-e-Qadr, outside the Jamia Masjid, Nowhatta. The accused Waseem along with 19 others is facing trial in this case.

The deceased, as per the charge sheet, was beaten up, dragged, and lynched to death by the mob. Pandit’s pistol was also snatched and the dead body was dragged and left at Nowhatta.

As per the police report, after conducting the investigation of the case, the challan was presented before the trial court against 20 accused. On 12 December 2017, the trial court framed charges for the offences under Section 302, 148, 149, 392, 341 RPC read with 13 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against 17 accused who were produced before the trial court at the time of presentation of the challan.

Of 20 accused, 17 were arrested and produced before the trial court at the time of presentation of the challan whereas one accused Sajad Ahmad Gilkar was killed in a gunfight prior to the presentation of the challan.

During the pendency of the trial, Waseem was also arrested and produced before the trial court.

In the bail order, special judge Manjeet Singh Manhas stated that the accused [Waseem] shall not leave the territorial jurisdiction of this court without prior permission of the court and shall not change his residence during the period of bail.

The bail order also said that before parting with the order it is made clear that any observation made in this order shall not affect the merits of the main case which shall be decided on its own merits.

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