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Interim Chargesheet, Little Details: A Year On, Kashmir Awaits Justice for Editor Shujaat Bukhari

Minutes before the rise of the Eid crescent, Bukhari and his two bodyguards were assassinated outside his office in the press enclave by unidentified gunmen in the heart of Srinagar city on June 14, last year.

Aakash Hassan | News18.com@Aakashhassan

Updated:June 14, 2019, 6:34 PM IST
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Interim Chargesheet, Little Details: A Year On, Kashmir Awaits Justice for Editor Shujaat Bukhari
File photo of a silent protest by journalists against the killing of Shujaat Bukhari last year.

Srinagar: It has been one year since the Valley lost one of its distinguished journalists, Shujaat Bukhari, but the Kashmir police have only been able to file an interim chargesheet so far.

Minutes before the rise of the Eid crescent, Bukhari and his two bodyguards were assassinated outside his office in the press enclave by unidentified gunmen in the heart of Srinagar city on June 14, last year.

The 50-year-old founding editor of Rising Kashmir, an English daily, was actively involved in track-II diplomacy between India and Pakistan.

His assassination sent shockwaves in the media fraternity and left political parties and common people, who would see him as their voice, shaken.

One year into the investigation, Bukhari’s family has been largely dissatisfied with the course of the probe and has left justice in the hands of the “Almighty”.

“God will do us justice. He is up there watching everything. I will surely get justice from him, I believe,” Dr Tahmeena, the slain journalist’s wife, told News18.

Soon after the murder, the Jammu and Kashmir police formed a special investigation team (SIT) for a speedy probe.

In its interim chargesheet, the SIT said militants associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba were involved in the killing and identified the militants as Naveed Jatt and Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada.

Jatt, a Pakistani national, was killed in a gunfight in Budgam district on November 28, last year, while Malik, who hailed from Bejbehara region in South Kashmir, was killed five days before Jatt in another gunfight. However, the LeT has denied any involvement in Bukhari’s assassination.

The others named in the chargesheet include Srinagar’s Sheikh Sajad Gul who now lives in Pakistan and Muzaffar Bhat alias Abu Talha, a militant from south Kashmir’s Kulgam area.

However, so far, only one person, Zubair Ahmed Bhat, a Srinagar resident, has been arrested in the case on charges of robbing a pistol from one of Bukhari’s bodyguards from the crime scene.

Police have claimed they were waiting for details sought from the United States under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and Red Corner Notice issued against Sajad Gul. Besides, some of the forensic reports were yet to reach them.

Director General of J&K Police, Dilbagh Singh, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir), Swayam Prakash Pani and SSP Srinagar, Haseeb Mughal, did not respond to News18’s query on the developments in the case.

However, Superintendent of Police (East) Srinagar Dawood Ayoub said three more persons have been arrested in the case, without divulging any further details.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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