SRINAGAR: Among the six militants killed in a gunfight with armed forces in Sutkipora area of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district include Azad Malik, who police claim was involved in the assassination of journalist and Rising Kashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar.
Bukhari was assassinated on June 14 by unidentified gunmen outside his office in Srinagar, a day before Eid and few minutes before Iftaar (breaking of Fast during Ramzan). Bukhari succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead on arrival.
As per a report by Kashmir Reader in which police sources were cited, Azad Malik of Arwani in Bijbehara was killed in the gunfight. Later, it was confirmed that the top Laskar-e-Toiba commander had been one of the killed.
Others included Unas Shafi Bhat, a Hizb recruit son of Muhammad Shafi Bhat, a resident of Takiya Maqsood Shah, Bijbehara; Basit Ahmad Mir, Lashkar recruit, son of Ishtiyaq Ahmad Mir, a resident of Pushwara Anantnag; Atif Nazar, a resident of Waghama Anantnag, a Hizb recruit; Firdaus Ahmad, a resident of Machpona Pulwama and Shahid Ahmad, a resident of Kawani Awantipora.
Earlier in June, the Jammu and Kashmir Police, in a press conference had said that they had identified the names of four perpetrators who were involved in the assassination of Bukhari.
The perpetrators had been identified as Sajjad Gul, Azad Ahmad Malik and Muzamil Ahmed who were Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives with Muzamil being active from 2016 and Naveed Jatt, who is a Pakistani and who fled from prison.
The Inspector General of Police, SP Pani had said the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan by a Kashmiri named Sajjad Gul. He had also mentioned the online hate campaign that had started through pages like ‘Kadwa Sach’ and twitter handle of ‘Ahmad Khalid’ which were both operating from Pakistan.
“We have tangible evidence to establish these were done from Pakistan. The evidence we have in cooperation of service providers is that they belong to Pakistan,” he had said.