SRINAGAR – The murder of Jammu and Kashmir’s veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari is the result of the conspiracy hatched in Pakistan and executed by terrorists based in the state, the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) police claimed on Thursday.
The IoK police have claimed a breakthrough in the case on the basis of CCTV footage recovered from near the spot where the journalist was killed on the eve of Eid earlier this month.
The suspects, the IoK police said, were three terrorists of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Sajad Gul now based in Pakistan, Azad Ahmed Malik, LeT oeprative from anantnag district, Muzafar Ahmad bhat, LeT ,Naveed Jatt have been identified in #ShujaatBukhari murder case: IGP Kashmir SP Pani pic.twitter.com/x8zDibBmzl
— ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2018
Talking about the conspiracy, the IoK IGP said there were a series of malicious social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms ahead of the high-profile killing. “These (campaigns) were done from Pakistan – we have tangible evidence. The evidence we have in cooperation with service providers is that they belong to Pakistan. It was all part of the LeT conspiracy,” he claimed.
Sajad Gul, the IoK police claimed, is now based in Pakistan. He left India in March 2017 and hasn’t been back. The other three, who were the shooter team, have been identified as Azad Ahmed Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat and Naveed Jatt.
However, Lashkar-e-Taiba has strongly condemned the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari even as it blamed “Indian” agencies “enmity” towards every individual who is “loyal to the freedom movement.” Dr Abdullah Ghazanwi, militant organization’s spokesman in a statement quoting Mahmood Shah, Chief Lashkar-e-Taiba, said: “Killing of Shujaat Bukhari is a conspiracy hatched to suppress the voice of indigenous freedom struggle. Indian agencies have enmity towards every individual who is loyal to the freedom movement. The world must pay attention to India’s vicious and ill-fated conspiracies.”
He claimed that India was keen to “kill every individual who is vocal about the indigenous freedom struggle and India’s atrocities.” “India’s former army chiefs themselves are taking part in such conspiracies. India’s motive behind such vicious act is to blame Mujahideen (militants) for their own wrongdoings. But the freedom fighters have never targeted the civilians,” he said, adding, “The killing of Shujat Bukhari is also a wrongdoing of India’s secret agencies which is a highly condemnable act. India can never hide its terrorist face from the world.”
The editor of Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by the three bike-borne men at a market outside his office on June 14, while he was on way to attend an Iftaar party. The 52-year-old journalist was hit with 17 bullets and his two security guards also died.
The killers, their faces covered by helmets and mask, were caught on CCTV cameras. The man in the middle was seen holding a sack, apparently full of weapons. After the shooting, they went away, shouting slogans. The IoK police said they recovered two cellphones from the spot and a hunt is on for the men.