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Bukhari killing: Suspect who picked up pistol from murder scene arrested

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Hunt on to nab others, says police

Srinagar, Jun 15: Police on Friday claimed to have arrested a suspect in connection with the killing of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari and two of his PSOs.

The suspect has been identified as Zubair Qadri, Inspector General (IG) Kashmir Swayam Prakash Pani said at a hurriedly-called press conference.

He said Qadri was seen in the video stealing the pistol of the PSO who was shot dead along with Bukhari.

“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.

Pani added that the state police had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under Deputy Inspector General (central Kashmir) V K Virdi to probe the killing of the editor of ‘Rising Kashmir’ yesterday.

Pani also described the killing of the journalist as a “terror attack”.

The identity of the other three attackers is being ascertained, the police official said.

Bukhari, 50, was gunned down yesterday evening soon after he got into his car from his office at Press Enclave in the city centre, Lal Chowk.

His two personal security officers were also killed.

Earlier  today, police had released a screen grab showing a suspect (Zubair Qadri) in connection with the killing of Bukhari and his two personal guards and had sought help of general public in identifying him.

The police issued the picture from a video, which was purportedly recorded by a passerby following the attack on Bukhari outside his office, showing a bearded man surveying the inside of the journalist’s vehicle.

As a man pulls out Bukhari’s guard, the suspect is seen picking up his pistol and disappearing from the scene right under the nose of the cops there.

Late last night, police had issued two photographs of three-motorcycle borne suspects  that were taken from the CCTV footage. However, their faces were not visible.

While the driver was wearing a helmet, one of the pillion riders had used a face mask to conceal his identity. The face of the third assailant,  sitting in the middle, did not seem to be covered but he was leaning towards the other side so as not to be captured on the CCTV.

“In connection with (yesterday’s) attack at Srinagar’s Press enclave, police requests general public to identify the suspects for the purpose of  police investigation,” a police spokesman said.

Urging the public to pass the information about the identity of the assailants to local police,  the spokesman said  the name of the person providing any clue or information regarding the suspects will be kept confidential.

Meanwhile, state police chief S.P. Vaid told reporters here that “rest assured, we will get the killers”.

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