LeT killed Bukhari, plotted plan in Pak, 4 accused identified: IGP

Srinagar, Jun 28: Asserting that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was behind the assassination of senior journalist and Rising Kashmir Editor-in-Chief Shujaat Bukhari that was planned in Pakistan, Kashmir Police chief S P Pani said that four accused involved in the crime have been identified.
He said LeT commander Naveed Jatt, who escaped from judicial custody when he was brought to hospital in February this year, was among the four accused involved in the crime. “The other three accused include, Sheikh Sajjad Gul, a resident of Srinagar, who is currently residing in Pakistan, and is associated with LeT, Muzaffer Ahmad and Azad Ahmad Malik,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir range, S P Pain told reporters during a press conference here today.
Bukhari along with his two security guards were shot dead by gunmen in Press Colony in the summer capital, Srinagar on June 14.
“Investigation has established that there was a campaign in certain social media platforms, spreading hate and posting malicious and intimidating content against Bukhari. Such content was posted on ‘Kashmirfight.wordpress.com’, Facebook account ‘Kadwa sach Kashmir’ and twitter handle ‘Ahmad Khalid’,” Pani said.
He said during the course of investigation, tangible evidence has been collected to establish that the individuals behind the killing belong to LeT and all the content on social media was posted from Pakistan.
IGP Pani said the social media campaign against Mr Bukhari was being run by Sajjad Gul, a resident of Srinagar, who is associated with LeT and currently lives in Pakistan. “Gul went to Pakitsan in March 2017 on a fraudulently obtained passport which is being investigated. Earlier, he was arrested under Public Safety Act (SPA) in Parimpora militant attack case. He was also arrested in a case in Delhi in 2002 and remained in jail for some time. How he was released is also being investigated,” he added.
The IGP said a Look Out notice will be issued and Interpol will be contacted to bring Gul back to India so that he is brought to book for his crimes.
Giving details of the three accused who killed Mr Bukhari, he said they have been identified as Muzaffar Ahmad alias Talha, a resident of Qazigund. Ahmad is an active LeT militant since 2018. “Jaat is active since 2009 and recently escaped from a judicial custody. Azad Ahmad malik, a resident of Bijbehara is also active LeT militant since December 2016,” he added.
When asked, what was the motive behind the assassination of Bukhari, the IGP said that will be revealed once the chargesheet is filed.
“The reason for calling this press conference is to reveal the names of the people involved in the killing. We have tangible evidence against them. Other details of the investigation, including motive behind the crime, will be reveled once the chargesheet is filed. You have to understand that in terror cases the police have to protect the identity of the witnesses, evidences and make sure that evidence is effectively transferred to the other country,” he said.
Talking about Zubair, who was arrested after a video went viral on social media in which he could be seen decamping with a pistol of one of the security guards of Bukhari and mobile phone, the IGP said that his role is being investigated in the crime.
“His (Zubair’s) role is being investigated. A pistol was recovered from him, which he was seen taking from the scene of the crime. He tried to conceal his clothes and other things so his part is being investigated,” he added.
He said the investigators will now focus on all the evidence that we have as there could be a situation where we could be asked to transfer the evidence through Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (to Pakistan) as one of the accused currently lives in Pakistan.
“We will now seek non-bailable warrant against all the accused. We will also contact Interpol and seek issuance of a Red Corner Notice again Gul, who is currently living in Pakistan,” he added.