Conflict

Top LeT commander Naveed Jat reportedly among two militants killed in Budgam gunfight

file photo used for representation.

Srinagar: Top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander, Naveed Jat, is reportedly among the two militants killed in a gunfight with armed forces in Chattergam area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday, according to news agency ANI.

According to the police, Jat had been involved in the assassination of Rising Kashmir newspaper’s editor and journalist Shujaat Bukhari, who was assassinated on June 14 by unidentified gunmen outside his office in Srinagar, a day before Eid and few minutes before Iftaar (breaking of Fast during Ramzan). Bukhari succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead on arrival.

On November 23, police claimed that one of the six militants killed in a gunfight with armed forces in Sutkipora area of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Azad Malik, was also accused of having been involved in the assassination.

ALSO READ: Kashmir newspaper editorials go blank in protest against Shujaat Bukhari’s assassination

The gunfight had erupted in Kuthipora area of Chattergam soon after the government forces launched a search operation in the area.

A top police official, quoted by Greater Kashmir, said that they had inputs about the presence of Jatt in the area. “However, I can’t confirm if he (Jatt) was among the slain,” he said.

Then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein during his opening statement of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council had said that he was deeply saddened by the assassination of Bukhari.

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While calling him a human rights defender, Hussein had said, “I am tremendously saddened by the assassination last week of Shujaat Bukhari, a courageous human rights defender actively working for peace, including through his participation in the Track Two diplomacy seeking to help both India and Pakistan put an end to the violence.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists while strongly condemned the killing of the editor had said that Indian authorities must bring killers of Bukhari to justice.

Two major world bodies of editors and publishers had written to Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi conveying their “grave concern” over Shujaat Bukhari’s assassination and sought investigations in the case.

ALSO READ: Bukhari was killed by militants on orders from Pakistan due to his involvement in peace process, says police

World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum are major media associations. WAN-IFRA represents 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in over 120 countries, with an aim to safeguard the rights of journalists.

“We ask that you take all necessary steps to ensure that local and national authorities carry out a quick and thorough investigation and bring the perpetrators – and masterminds – to justice,” the letter had read.

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