SRINAGAR: Police in Jammu and Kashmir are close to a breakthrough in the case of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari’s killing as they have identified the three suspected persons involved in the crime.
Police sources said that three of the killers, who had escaped from the spot on a motorbike after killing Bukhari and his two guards in Press Enclave, Lal Chowk in Srinagar on June 14, had been identified.
Police officials probing Bukhari’s killing identified the trio after going through CCTV footage of different areas.
According to sources, police are checking through their sources whether the persons involved in the crime are the same as those it has identified.
Police sources said they suspected that one of the militants involved in killing Bukhari was Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Naveed Jhat, who had escaped from police custody in SMHS hospital in February this year.
“We are probing this angle from day one. We are also double checking the identity of two other militants who were travelling on the bike. We suspect that they belong to south Kashmir,” a source said.
Hours after Shujaat’s killing, police had released CCTV footage of three attackers riding a motorcycle. While one of the attackers was wearing a helmet, another was wearing a mask.
Police has blamed Lashkar-e-Toiba militants for the killing. However, Lashkar has denied its involvement.
A police official said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case was close to cracking it.
“We want to make the investigations foolproof. After completing the probe, we will be addressing a Press conference to make names of the killers of Shujaat and his security guards public,” he said.
Asked whether any arrests had been made, the official said, “It cannot be disclosed at this point of time because it will hamper investigations”.
Police arrested a youth who had run away with two wallets and pistol of one of the security guards after Bukhari’s killing on June 14.
However, police sources said he was a drug addict and during investigation his involvement in the crime had not been established.