The Jammu and Kashmir police have said that the Editor of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari was killed by a terrorist on instructions from Pakistan. Bukhari was killed to send a message to other journalists to not voice anything other than Pakistan’s official line on Kashmir, the police report said. Speaking to media, a police officer having the knowledge of the case claims that they have found a clear-cut investigation clue that leads directly to the accused. All the killers have been identified, he added. The officer added that this was seen unfavourably by separatists and the Jamaat-e-Islami leaders on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

According to a report, the Jammu and Kashmir police also took a note of a Facebook message posted on June 16 in the Urdu language by renowned Pakistani activist Ershad Mahmud, who is believed to be close to Bukhari. The report further suggests that Bukhari had attended a peace conference in Dubai which later didn’t go down with the Hurriyat leaders residing in the Kashmir Valley. This was confirmed by Mahmud, who posted his views on social media stating that Bukhari’s views at the event were not taken in a positive manner by the Hurriyat. Notably, this conference was headed by senior Jamaat and Hizbul Mujahideen leader Sayeed Salahudeen.

If one looks closely, just a week before Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead, a blog titled Touts who are betraying the Kashmir struggle appeared on various social media sites targeting the renowned journalist Bukhari. The deceased journalist had also expressed his fears over the online hate campaign that was running online.

The report further suggests that probe agency has also initiated an investigation on the blog which also targeted scores of several journalists, businessmen, politicians and activists engaged in a so-called Track-II diplomacy as ‘betrayers’ of the ‘struggle of Kashmir’.

 

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Deepti Jain