The murder of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar was one of the high profile killings in the Kashmir valley in last few years.
After this big incident, the Jammu & Kashmir police tried to find out the guilty. From the very first day of the investigation, police had been saying that the murder has a connection with the Lashkar-e-Toiba.
On Thursday, police said that they now have “tangible evidence to establish” their theory. The police added that the conspiracy to kill senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was hatched by the Lasehkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan and the plan was accomplished in the Valley.
On 14 June, at Bukhari’s office in Srinagar, two of his personal security guards were also killed in the attack. The pictures of three assassins taken on a CCTV had been earlier released by the police.
On Thursday Jammu & Kashmir police identified one of the killers as Naveed Jatt alias Hanzullah, who was a Pakistani national. He had escaped from Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital in February this year. There were two local militants, Muzaffar Ahmad alias Talha from Qazigund, and Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada, with him for the incident. He was the LeT’s district commander in Anantnagn.
Police have the information that Talha has been “active” since January this year. Dada is said to have been “active” in South Kashmir since 2016, and had reportedly managed to escape from an encounter site about two months ago.
These terrorists were active on social media too. There is also a fourth accused. Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S P Pani also named a fourth accused, Sajjad Gul. He was local of Srinagar who is suspected to be living in Pakistan now. Gul was the person behind a “malicious” social media campaign against Bukhari. Police said the “hate campaign” against Bukhari was run on social media platforms like “kashmirfight.wordpress.com”, Facebook account “kadwa sach Kashmir”, Twitter handle Ahmadkhalid@313. The blogs and accounts, according to police, are still active.
“Investigation has established that there was a campaign on certain social media platforms against Shujaat Bukhari, spreading hate, malicious and intimidating content against him,” said Pani. He further added: “during investigation, with the cooperation of service providers, tangible evidence has been collected to establish that individuals behind it belong to Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist organisation and all the content on social media was posted from Pakistan.”
Pani said Gul had “obtained a passport fraudulently and left the country, and is now based in Pakistan.” He added Gul was “associated with Lashkar”. He was arrested in 2002 by the Delhi Police and by the Srinagar police in 2016 in terror-related cases.
Following the police securing a non-bailable warrant against Gul from the local court, the police would get in touch with the Interpol for a Red Corner Notice for Gul in addition to a lookout notice that has been issued against him, Pani said.
(Adapted from TheIndianExpress.com)