‘Rising Kashmir’ Editor Shujaat Bukhari Shot Dead In Srinagar

‘Rising Kashmir’ Editor Shujaat Bukhari Shot Dead In Srinagar
'Rising Kashmir' Editor Shujaat Bukhari Shot Dead In Srinagar

‘Rising Kashmir’ Editor Shujaat Bukhari Shot Dead In Srinagar

The attack took place hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a security review meeting for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage that starts later this month. Sources say Rajnath Singh’s peace initiative in Kashmir, a ceasefire, may not extend beyond Ramzan, which is expected to end with Eid tomorrow.

‘Rising Kashmir’ Editor Shujaat Bukhari Shot Dead In Srinagar

NEW DELHI:  Senior journalist and Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari and his PSO were shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside the newspaper’s office in the heart of this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital.

Shujaat Bukhari, who was in his 50s, was leaving his office in Press Enclave in the city centre Lal Chowk for an iftar party when he was shot, officials said.

While one of the personal security officers (PSO) guarding him was killed, another policeman and a civilian were injured, they added.

The condition of the two injured in the shooting, which comes a day ahead of Eid, is critical, they said.

The police say the killers were waiting for Shujaat Bukhari to come out of the building and it appeared to be a planned attack. It was not clear, however, who were responsible for the attack, Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid told media.

“Today at about 7:30 pm when he was coming out of his office and boarding his car, three terrorists, who had come on a motorcycle, opened fire. Two of his PSOs (personal security officers) were also hit… They were shot before they could react,” he said.

“They (the terrorists) chose the iftaar time when everybody was rushing home. We will look into who these people are,” he added.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti visited the police hospital, where his body was brought, to console his grief-stricken family and appeared close to tears herself. “It’s very difficult to believe. He came to meet me just a few days ago,” she said.

From the Editors Guild of India to the Press Club, condemnations of the attack were immediate and unreserved, calling on the state to improve security conditions for journalists.

Calling Mr Bukhari “a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor”, the Editors’ Guild said his killing “is a new low in a rapidly deteriorating environment for media practitioners in Kashmir, in particular, and in the country in general”.

“An attack on a journalist challenges the very foundations of a free press and vibrant democracy and more so in a state like Jammu and Kashmir… The Guild calls upon the Centre to take necessary steps to ensure a situation where the media can discharge its duties without any fear of violence,” its statement read.

The attack took place hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a security review meeting for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage that starts later this month. Sources say Rajnath Singh’s peace initiative in Kashmir, a ceasefire, may not extend beyond Ramzan, which is expected to end with Eid tomorrow.