As hundreds turned out for the funeral of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari who was laid to rest Friday in his ancestral home Kreeri in Baramulla, J&K police formed a special investigation team to probe the killing of the journalist a day earlier in Srinagar. IG Kashmir S P Pani told reporters that Bukhari’s killing was a “terror attack” and the identity of three suspects astride a motorcycle, captured in surveillance cameras, was being ascertained.A fourth person, Zubair Qayoom, had been arrested and a pistol of one of the two PSOs killed with Bukhari had been recovered.
The PSOs were identified as Constable Abdul Hameed and Constable Mumtaz Ahmad. Pani said a video showed Zubair removing the pistol. “The pistol has since been recovered and he is being questioned about his presence at the scene of the crime. So far, he has not been able to give any convincing answers,” he said. A SIT led by DIG (Central Kashmir) V K Virdi had been formed to probe the killings.
According to police, three-four gunmen were involved and fired at Bukhari’s car from two sides. Police released three photographs of the suspected assailants. These were acquired from CCTV cameras installed at several places in the city.
In two of these photographs, the suspects can be seen on a motorcycle. The rider in the front is wearing a helmet while another has a face mask. The person in the middle appears to be a teenager. “General public is requested to identify the suspects in pictures involved in terror attack at Press Enclave,” J&K Police said while posting photographs on Twitter.
Bukhari was laid to rest in Kreeri, his ancestral home in Baramulla. People from all walks of life turned out for the funeral as Kreeri village observed a complete shutdown on the eve of Eid. Amid a downpour, prayers were offered at 11 am and Bukhari was laid to rest. The large crowd at the funeral included most ministers of the J&K government, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Congress leaders Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Saifuddin Soz and BJP leaders Abdul Ghani Kohli and Sukhnandan Kumar. Separatist leaders Yasin Malik and Zafar Akbar Bhat were also there.