Claiming a breakthrough in the assassination of editor of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari, the police on Friday said one suspect has been arrested in Srinagar.
“We have arrested one of the four suspects in the case. A stolen weapon was recovered from him. He is being interrogated. We will get the killers,” said Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, S.P. Pani.
A Deputy Inspector General (DIG)-headed Special Investigation Team (SIT), identified the arrested attacker as Zubair Qayoom, a resident of Srinagar’s Kanitar-Saderbal area.
According to the police, Qayoom stayed at the assassination scene and was apparently pulling out the bodies from Bukhari’s vehicle. The suspect was seen in a video picking up a pistol of the injured policeman.
“The pistol and the clothes he wore on Thursday have been recovered. His complicity is being investigated,” said the police.
The police claimed to have laid hands on crucial CCTV footage but “the three other suspects remain unidentified so far.” They have not named any group behind the attack.
Earlier, the police released two pictures captured on CCTV camera and asked the public to identify the suspects.
In one set of pictures, three men with a bag on a bike can be seen. Their faces are concealed.
Bukhari, 50, was surrounded by at least three gunmen on Thursday between 7.15 and 7.30 p.m., just minutes before iftar, time to break the fast during Ramzan.
He was leaving his office when the attackers emerged at the busy Press Enclave, with a CRPF picket nearby, and one first opened fire with an automatic weapon at the Personal Security Officer (PSO) driver.
Others fired upon Bukhari and another PSO, killing two of them on the spot.
Bukhari’s body took 16 bullets, according to the relatives.
“It was a meticulously planned attack to eliminate him,” said a police official.
Meanwhile, militant conglomerate United Jehad Council (UJC) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) condemned the killing.