Jammu and Kashmir Police says Shujaat Bukhari was killed by LeT, plan hatched in Pakistan

Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday claimed the plan to kill senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was hatched in Pakistan and executed by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

 Jammu and Kashmir Police says Shujaat Bukhari was killed by LeT, plan hatched in Pakistan

File image of Shujaat Bukhari. Image courtesy: @bukharishujaat/Twitter

Holding a press conference Thursday, the police named four suspects in the murder of the Rising Kashmir founder and editor-in-chief: Sheikh Sajjad Gul, Azad Ahmed Malik, Muzaffer Ahmed and Naveed Jatt. Malik, Ahmed and Jatt executed the murder, police said.

Gul, a Sringar resident, was arrested by the Srinagar Police in 2016, obtained a passport fraudulently and is said to be in Pakistan, police claimed. A lookout notice has been issued against him, they added.

"We have evidence to prove that Pakistan is involved in the killing of Bukhari," said SP Pani, IGP, Kashmir Range. Pani stated there are two parts to this investigation: The conspiracy and the execution. Before the murder of Bukhari there were malicious online campaigns against him by Kashmirfight.wordpress.com, Facebook account "Kadwa sach Kashmir" and Twitter handle "Ahmad Khalid".

Gul is one of the persons who created the blogs and write-ups against Bukhari and there is very strong evidence against him, police claimed.

Jatt escaped from Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) in Srinagar on 6 February and has been active in many militancy-related incidents. The police refused to answer the motive behind the murder. They stated that as of now the only information they could disclose is the identity of the accused.

The Kashmir police also issued a press release:

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A preliminary police investigation had on Wednesday revealed the role of Jatt, a top LeT commander and two other accomplices in the killing of Bukhari.

Bukhari was killed on 14 June, just a day before Eid, when the Union government announced a non-initiation of combat operations (NICO) to facilitate peaceful observation of festivities in the Valley. Three gunmen opened fire on Bukhari,  killing him outside his office at Press Enclave in Srinagar. One of his special police officers (SPOs) also died at the spot, while another later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

The assassination of the senior journalist indicates a tectonic shift underway in Jammu and Kashmir, this Firstpost article argues. His killing was the first of its kind, an attack on a senior journalist, that too in the heart of Srinagar. The incidents that have taken place in the Valley in the last month — over the last 48 hours in particular — clearly indicate that the situation in the state has slipped from contemporary timelines and is back to the 1990s now, the piece further stated.


Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 17:43:01 IST