Shujaat Bukhari Killing: Police Says 3 Attackers Identified

SRINAGAR — Three persons involved in the killing of noted journalist Shujaat Bukhari have been identified and one of them is escaped Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Naveed Jatt, a Pakistani national, the Jammu and Kashmir Police claimed on Wednesday.

Two locals were also identified by the police and are believed to be from one of the villages in south Kashmir. Police was trying to corroborate the evidence from the ground, they said.

"The details about the plans to kill Bukhari surfaced during an investigation in one of the recent encounters at Kulgam during which police officials got evidence to suggest that Jatt was in the middle of the motorcycle on which three militants were seen on the CCTV footage minutes before gunning down the journalist on June 14", police said.

Meanwhile, the blogger, whom the police believe is a militant from Srinagar and based in Pakistan now, has been identified, according to the police. The blogger ran a smear campaign against Mr. Bukhari in June, just ahead of his killing, they said.

Bukhari was killed along with his two police guards outside his office on June 14.

Both the United Jehad Council (UJC) and the Lashkar-e-Taiba have denied any role in the assassination. “Bukhari’s killing cannot be blamed on his detractors,” UJC head Syed Salahhuddin said on Tuesday.

Lashkar Demands ‘Independent Probe’ 

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Mehmood Shah has said government forces and their “stooges” have yet again blamed the outfit for killing Shujaat Bukhari.

“It is not a secret to anyone that Indian forces have time and again killed innocent Kashmiris, Indians and even foreign tourists to defame and demonise the mujahideen and this incident is no different,” LeT spokesperson Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi in a statement issued to GNS quoted Shah as saying.

 “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 like China or Russia,” Mehmood Shah said, adding, “We would fully cooperate in the probe and would accept the findings of the investigating agency.” (GNS)

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