Shujaat Bukhari was editor of Rising Kashmir daily. He was killed on June 14 evening at around 7 when he stepped out of his office in Srinagar's press enclave to attend an iftar gathering.
In a major breakthrough in the sensational murder case of Kashmir journalist Shujaat Bukhari, the Jammu and Kashmir Police claim to have identified his killers using technical and human intelligence. A report in The Indian Express cited police sources to claim that two of the attackers who were part of the gang that assassinated Bukhari outside his office near Lal Chowk are local militants from south Kashmir region and another is a Pakistani national.
“We have identified the attackers,” a top police officer privy to the investigation told the daily. “Two of them are local militants from south Kashmir while the third one is from Pakistan,” the official added.
Bukhari, who was known for his fearless style of reporting, was editor of Rising Kashmir daily. He was killed on June 14 evening at around 7 when he stepped out of his office in Srinagar’s press enclave to attend an iftar gathering. His two security guards were also killed in the attack.
Police said that the Pakistani national involved in the incident has been identified as Naveed Jatt. He is linked to LeT and had escaped from police custody from Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital in Srinagar in February this year. He was arrested from south Kashmir in 2016 and was lodged at the Srinagar Central jail since then before he was shifted to a hospital for treatment and subsequently escaped.
According to police, they have also identified a blogger based in Pakistan who was leading a campaign against the journalist. Police said that the blogger is a militant from Srinagar but is settled in Pakistan.
A day after Bukhari’s assassination, police had released CCTV grabs of three killers fleeing on a motorcycle. While one was wearing a helmet, the second one was hiding behind the rider. The third person on the bike was wearing a black mask.
The police had initially arrested one youth who had stolen a pistol from one of Bukhari’s guards. Police later said that the youth was a drug addict and that he had no role in the assassination. While police blamed terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba for Bukhari’s killing, the banned militant group denied its involvement in the killing and termed it an act of ‘Indian agencies’.