New Delhi: In a major development in the murder of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari, the Jammu & Kashmir police department has received some important clues, senior police officers told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity. According to media reports citing police sources, Bukhari was shot dead by terrorists on instructions from across the border, most probably for trying to promote peace in the Valley. Cops are also examining the role of Kashmiri separatist group Hurriyat Conference in the broad daylight murder of the senior journalist.
Bukhari was advised by the Hurriyat not to attend a conference in Dubai. However, he went ahead with his plans.
Intelligence input also points towards Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Lashkar-e-Taiba. A spokesman for terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba had earlier called the participants traitors, who would soon be taught a lesson.
The state police has also taken note of the Facebook post shared by Pakistani journalist-activist Ershad Mahmud on 16 June. Mahmud was close to Bukhari and had also attended the Dubai conference. The post says that Bukhari’s views were not aligned with those of separatists in the valley and that of the United Jihad Council headed by senior Jamait and Hizbul Mujahideen leader Sayeed Salahudeen. Salahudeen had labelled the senior journalist and all those who attended Dubai conference as “paid agents of India”.
According to Mahmud, Bukhari was a marked man as he advocated for dialogue between India and Pakistan. Due to his stand, he became a victim of anti-talks faction of the Hurriyat and the ISI. “They did not want any new ideas on the resolution of the Kashmir issue,” Mahmud posted in Urdu.
Bukhari was shot dead by unidentified assailants outside his office in the Press Enclave area of Srinagar on 14 June 2018. He had survived three assassination attempts on previous occasions.