Srinagar: Srinagar Police on Friday arrested the person, whose photograph it had released earlier in the day as the fourth suspect who might have been involved in the murder of senior journalist and Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari and his two personal guards. Police also recovered the pistol stolen by the alleged suspect from one of the guards.
However, police said that the suspect may not be one of the killers but are trying to ascertain his role in the case.
“The suspect has been taken into custody. The pistol which was stolen from the scene of crime has been recovered. The clothes he was wearing yesterday have also been seized. The investigation is underway. It is a terror-related crime,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S P Pani told reporters at a press meet.
Pani also said that a Special Investigation Team, led by Directorate Inspector General of Police (Central Kashmir) has been formed to probe the case.
On Facebook, police had earlier posted the photograph of a man who is seen surveying the interiors of the deceased’s vehicle and sought the help of the general public to identify the suspect. The police had issued the picture from a video, which was reportedly recorded by a passerby following the attack on the journalist and in which a bearded man can be seen surveying the inside of the journalist’s vehicle. As a man pulls out Bukhari’s guard, the suspect is seen picking up his pistol and disappearing from the scene right under the nose of the cops there.
“Srinagar Police seeks help of the general public to identify one more suspect involved in terror attack at press enclave, Srinagar. The name of the person providing any clue or information regarding the suspects will be kept confidential,” the post read.
The image of the fourth alleged accused came hours after the images of three other suspects were released. However, their faces were not visible. While the driver was wearing a helmet, one of the pillion riders had used a face mask to conceal his identity. The face of the third assailant, sitting in the middle, did not seem to be covered but he was leaning towards the other side so as not to be captured on the CCTV.
Bukhari was 51. He is survived by his wife Tahmeena, son Tamheed and daughter Duriya. His brother Basharat Bukhari, a broadcaster-turned-politician, is a senior PDP leader and Minister for Horticulture, Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs in the Mehbooba Mufti-led government.