Blog preparing hit list in Kashmir cracked, 5 held: police

Police say they recovered incriminating digital equipment from 5 houses raided across UT

Published - July 17, 2021 09:18 pm IST - Srinagar

Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside his office at Srinagar. File

Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside his office at Srinagar. File

The Jammu and Kashmir police on Saturday claimed to have arrested five persons running an online blog site, which ran smear campaigns and prepared a hit list of prominent personalities in Kashmir, including Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari.

“The culprits behind the terror and intimidation machinery,, have been arrested in a major breakthrough,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said.

The police said they recovered incriminating digital equipment from five houses raided across the Union Territory (UT).

In a UT-wide operation, houses and properties at multiple locations, including Sanat Nagar and Raj Bagh in Srinagar, Batpura in Hazratbal, Poonch, Jammu and Hawal in Pulwama belonging to five persons were searched, the police said.

“A large amount of cell phones, digital storage devices and computing platforms have been recovered,” the police claimed.

In one house, the police said they found 32 mobile phones, one tablet, two laptops, four hard disk storage devices, seven memory cards and one dongle.

The five persons arrested were Nazish Yasrab Rehmani and Tabish Akbar Rehmani from Sanatnagar; Sofi Md Akbar from Rajbagh; Peerzada Raqif Makhdoomi from Batpora, Hazratbal; and Javed Khalid from Poonch.

White-collar terrorist syndicate

According to the police,, was being run by a white-collar terrorist syndicate, whose task was to prepare a strategic hit list of government officers, journalists, social activists, lawyers and political functionaries.

“They were assessed by the syndicate to be responsible for harming the overarching objectives of furthering and sustaining the Pakistani supported terrorist programme with the eventual aim of secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Indian Union and its eventual annexation with Pakistan,” the police said.

With the arrest of the kingpins and the discovery of a huge number of digital devices and the analysis of the data therein, it is expected that the ultimate plans behind the murder of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, advocate Babar Qadri, and businessman Satpal Nischal would come to the fore.

“The blog site had designed a modus operandi wherein the name of the victim was first published, he was profiled giving detailed justification as to how and why the he is a legitimate target of the terrorists and subsequently his actual execution by the terrorists,” the police said.

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