J&K cops find LeT role in Shujaat Bukhari's killing

J&K cops find LeT role in Shujaat Bukhari's killing

Journalists hold placards during a silent protest march against the killing of Rising Kashmir newspaper editor-in-chief Shujaat Bukhari, in Srinagar on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. PTI Photo

Nearly two weeks after veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari was gunned down by three assailants in Srinagar, the initial investigation of Jammu and Kashmir Police has blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) for the killing.

Sources told DH that one of the killers is Pakistani national and LeT terrorist Naveed Jatt, while the other two are locals from south Kashmir. Jatt had escaped from police custody from SMHS Hospital in Srinagar on February 6 and had been involved in many militancy-related incidents since.

Bukhari, the editor of local English daily Rising Kashmir, and his two personal security officers (PSOs) were gunned down outside his office at Press Enclave here when he got into his car to drive to an Iftar party. The attackers, who came on a bike, sprayed bullets at him at close range. 

State police chief Shesh Pal Vaid, confirming that Jatt’s name had surfaced on day one of the killing, said more details would be revealed at a press conference in Srinagar “in a day or two".

A senior police officer said the evidence procured in the form of CCTV footage and human intelligence has revealed the role of Jatt in the killing. “Besides the trio who carried out the attack, police investigation will soon reveal the names of the masterminds,” he said.

One of the militants involved in the attack had kept a watch on Bukhari and as soon as he had stepped out of his office, he alerted the other two. 

“Soon, Bukhari and his PSOs were confronted from all sides and attacked. Jatt and his associates had fired in the air for some time to prevent people from immediately carrying Bukhari to hospital,” the officer said.

The attackers had reportedly raised "Allahu Akbar" slogans before escaping from the spot, driving through the busy Regal Chowk road.
LeT denies

The LeT denied its involvement in the killing and termed it a “handiwork of Indian agencies".

Police investigations have also identified a Pakistan-based blogger who ran a vicious campaign against Bukhari and other journalists. The blogger is suspected to be a militant from Srinagar and settled in Pakistan.