The family members of DSP Mohammad Ayub Pandith, lynched on Thursday night, are known supporters of the Mirwaiz Umer Farooq family.
More, Ayub’s cousin, Mohammad Abdullah Pandith, a lawyer, often takes up the defence of stone-pelters and separatists in subordinate courts, and is a close associate of Mian Qayoom, a staunch associate of Hurriyat separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, sources said.
Abdullah Pandith is an active member of the J&K high court bar association and always on the forefront of any protest concerning Kashmir issue, police said.
He defended Hurriyat (Syed Ali Shah Geelani faction) separatist Firdous Ahmad Shah in 2015 when he was allegedly involved in a case of accepting slush money to the tune of Rs 3 crore from Pakistan for 2008 Mumbai attacks. He was subsequently charged by the Enforcement Directorate.
There was a murderous assault on Abdullah after he took up Shah’s case. High Court Bar Association, which is known for its pro-separatist politics, stood by Abdullah at the time. Inciden tally, Abdullah was on the JKLF’s “hit-list” for murder in early 1990s.