The murder of Jammu and Kashmir's veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari is the result of conspiracy hatched in Pakistan and executed by terrorists based in the state, the police said today. The police have claimed a breakthrough in the case on the basis of CCTV footage recovered from near the spot where the journalist was killed on the eve of Eid earlier this month.
The suspects, the police said today, were three terrorists of the banned Lashkar-e Taiba. There was a fourth man - a resident of Srinagar who is now in Pakistan, said senior police officer SP Pani.
"We have tangible evidence to establish this was done from Pakistan," Mr Pani said. The information, he said was gleaned after the police identified the shooters from a CCTV footage and found a cellphone trail.
Sajad Gul, the police said, is now based in Pakistan. He left India in March 2017 and hasn't been back. The other three, who were the shooter team, have been identified as Azad Ahmed Malik, Muzafar Ahmad Bhat and Naveed Jatt.
The editor of Rising Kashmir was shot dead by the three bike-borne men at a market outside his office on June 14, while he was on way to attend an Iftaar party. The 52-year-old journalist was hit with 17 bullets and his two security guards also died.
The killers, their faces covered by helmets and mask, were caught on CCTV cameras. The man in the middle was seen holding a sack, apparently full of weapons. After the shooting, they went away, shouting slogans. The police said they recovered two cellphones from the spot and a hunt is on for the men.