The Jammu and Kashmir Police has approached the CBI for issuance of an Interpol Red Corner notice against Sajad Gul, who escaped to Pakistan in 2017 and allegedly hatched a conspiracy to kill veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari last year, officials said Tuesday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the nodal agency for the Interpol in India and a request for a worldwide alert has to be routed through the agency.
Papers from the J-K Police are being processed and will be sent soon to the Interpol’s headquarters after completion of necessary formalities, the officials said.
Shujaat Bukhari (50), according to police, was killed by a three-member group of the Lashker-e-Taiba on June 14 last year outside his office at Press Colony.
Gul had started an online campaign against the journalist, and is believed to have passed on instructions to the three Lashkar militants — Naved Jhatt, Muzaffar Ahmad and Azad Malik — to carry out the assassination of Bukhari, police had said.
It was found that there was a series of social media campaigns, which were intimidating at times.
“Investigation has established that there was a campaign in certain social media platforms against Bukhari, spreading hate, malicious and intimidating content against him like ‘Kashmirfight.wordpress.com’ and Facebook account ‘Kadwa such Kashmir’ and Twitter handle ‘Ahmad Khalid’, ahmadkhalid@313.
“During investigation, with the cooperation of service providers, tangible evidence has been collected to establish that individuals behind it belong to the Lashkar-e-Taiba organisation and all the content on social media was posted from Pakistan,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Swayam Prakash Pani, had said last year after cracking the case.
Gul, a resident of Srinagar, had earlier been arrested by the Delhi Police in 2003 and he had served sentences also. Later, he resumed his eduction and completed a masters in business administration from Jaipur before returning to Srinagar.
He was arrested by the Kashmir police in 2016 for another related case and was subsequently released on bail.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police had also sent a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to the US requesting preservation of data of Bukhari’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Police believed that threatening messages were sent to him on social networking sites from Pakistan.
Facebook and Twitter are based out of the US and so is Google, which runs e-mail services.
Both the US and India are signatories to an MLAT since 2005 which enables the two countries to pursue their common objective of law enforcement of putting in place a legal mechanism to enable them to provide to each other assistance in connection with investigation, prosecution, prevention of crime, including those relating to terrorism, narcotics, trafficking, economic and organised crime.
The treaty shall include taking the testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records and items of evidence; locating or identifying persons or items; serving documents etc.