A day after raids were carried out at their residences in Srinagar, the J&K police said on Thursday that four journalists will be arrested only after collection of solid evidence.
Vijay Kumar, IGP (Kashmir), said on Thursday that the four journalists, whose residences in Srinagar were raided on Wednesday, would be arrested after the collection of solid evidence.
Kumar said that based on evidence, searches were carried out at four places with search warrants from the designate NIA court on Wednesday.
He said some mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets were seized during these searches.
"All these four persons were called for questioning today and later they were allowed to go home in the evening. They have been called again tomorrow.
"Various numbers in Pakistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been found on their mobile phones," he said.
Evidence found against scribes
The IGP said that during the investigation of a case registered in 2020, the Kothibagh police station found credible evidence which linked these four persons with the blog 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
It must be recalled that this blog had been threatening journalists and others of dire consequences if they continued to act against the 'freedom struggle' of Kashmiris.
It was this blog that hit the editor of English daily 'Rising Kashmir', Shujaat Bukhari, hard by vilifying his credentials. Bukhari was killed by terrorists along with two of his security guards in Srinagar on June 14, 2018.
The IGP advised all the mediapersons and organisations not to spread false news and not to interfere in the investigation of this 'extremely sensitive case'.
The four local journalists in question are Azhar Qadri of 'The Tribune', Shoukat Mota, formerly editor of 'Narrator', Mir Hilal, who works for 'TRTworld.com', and Mohammad Abbas Shah, a freelance journalist.
(With inputs from IANS)