Senior PDP leader blames Mehbooba Mufti for Shujaat Bukhari’s murder

After claims that editor Shujaat Bukhari had approached then CM Mehbooba Mufti for increased security, only a few days before he was murdered, a PDP leader has now blamed Mufti for Bukhari’s killing

Photo courtesy: Social media 
Photo courtesy: Social media

Ashutosh Sharma

A few days after former RAW Chief Amarjit Singh Dulat claimed that senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari had approached Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, only a few days before he was murdered in Srinagar, for increased security, People’s Democratic Party spokesperson and outgoing Works Minister Naeem Akhtar has now blamed Mehbooba Mufti for Bukhari’s killing.

“All know in whose control the police, paramilitaries and Army is,” a local newspaper Kashmir Horizon quoted Akhtar as saying. Notably, the police, paramilitary forces and the Army come under the command of the State’s Home Ministry, a portfolio that was held by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti herself. Being Chief Minister of the state, she was also the head of the unified command.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav had cited “deteriorating law and order situation and growing terrorism activities in Valley” as reasons for walking out of the BJP-PDP alliance government. “Even a week after the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, we are nowhere near catching the culprits,” Madhav had told media.

Meanwhile, the media fraternity in Jammu and Kashmir has also raised questions of why no action was taken on the slain editor’s complaint against certain vitriolic news portals running “a no-holds-barred character assassination campaign” against him. They have also submitted a written memorandum to Governor NN Vohra, raising the following demands, reproduced here:

  1. Assassination of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari must be investigated by a team of professional and well-experienced police officers comprising the organisation's best investigators, forensic and IT experts headed by one senior-most officer.
  2. The SIT must thoroughly dig deep into the circumstances, including a vilification campaign on social media, that created an enabling atmosphere and led to Bukhari's audacious killing along with his two security guards on June 14, 2018 at Srinagar Press Enclave.
  3. The SIT must arrest and interrogate all the suspects, irrespective of their status, and interrogate them before they destroy evidence, particularly a trail of technical evidences left behind. If any foreign hands surface in the conspiracy, instigation or abutment, warrants against them should be got issued by a judicial magistrate and served through respective embassies/ high commissions and Interpol.
  4. In order to ensure professionalism and quality investigation, Government of Jammu and Kashmir must appoint a very senior and experienced criminal lawyer and designate him/her as special prosecutor so that the routine technical and legal lapses and loopholes, which we observe in many criminal cases, do not creep in during framing the charge sheet.
  5. Since people at large across the globe, particularly the media fraternity, have been shattered by this assassination, they have a right to be aware of the progress if any achieved in the investigation. Without revealing details, SIT must regularly update the people about status of its investigation.
  6. SIT must also investigate why the authorities did not act on Bukhari's complaint against certain vitriolic news portals running a no-holds-barred character assassination campaign against him. It must find why officials neither attempted to block such portals nor provided adequate protection, including a bullet proof vehicle, to Bukhari until he was shot dead in total helplessness.

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