Four LeT militants involved in Shujaat Bukhari’s killing: Police

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Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Jun 28: Asserting that they have got the tangible evidences against those involved in the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari, Jammu and Kashmir Police Thursday released the photographs of four persons including three Lashkar militants and a Pakistan-based blogger stating “these four executed the assassination of Bukhari.”
While addressing a press conference at PCR Srinagar, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zone, SP Pani named four suspects in the murder of the Rising Kashmir founder and editor-in-chief as Sheikh Sajjad Gul, Azad Ahmed Malik, Muzaffer Ahmed and Naveed Jatt.
According to Pani Gul, a Srinagar resident, is a key conspirator behind the assassination of Bukhari, was arrested by the Srinagar Police in 2016, obtained a passport fraudulently and is said to be in Pakistan.
The IGP claimed that a lookout notice has been issued against him.
The IGP further claimed that the conspiracy to kill Bukhari was hatched in Pakistan by a Kashmiri Sheikh Sajjad Gul and was executed by three LeT militants, including Naveed Jhat.
He said that Investigation so far conducted has disclosed that the person associated with publishing malicious articles on kashmirfight.wordpress.com is Skeikh Sajjad Gul @Ahmad Khalid, resident of Srinagar who is associated with LeT.
Three attackers who escaped on a motorcycle after carrying out the attack were identified as Azad Ahmed Malik from Arwani Bijbehara, Muzafar Ahmad Bhat from Sopat Qazigund and Naveed Jatt from Pakistan, he said.
“We have evidence to prove that Pakistan is involved in the killing of Bukhari,”said SP Pani, He 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.
Naveed 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.
Pertinent to mention here that the editor-in-chief of English daily Rising Kashmir, Bukhari was shot dead by unidentified gunmen when he came out of his office in Press Enclave and was boarding his car. Two of his security guards were also killed in the incident.
Police earlier arrested a local who had escaped with a pistol belonging to one of Bukhari’s guards and two mobile phones belonging to the journalist.
The photographs of three motorcycle-borne militants who allegedly shot Bukhari and his security guards were also released by the police during the press conference. However, militant groups including the LeT have denied killing the senior journalist, and termed the incident as a government ploy to defame them.
“We would like to call their (Indian Army’s) bluff. If Indian forces are truly convinced that this heinous crime was committed by mujahideen, then they should have no objection to an independent investigation of this murder by a neutral country such as China or Russia,” LeT chief Mahmood Shah had said in an email statement. (KNS)