The skies opened up today as thousands of friends and admirers joined the funeral procession of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari, who was laid to rest in his ancestral village here a day after he was shot dead outside his office in Srinagar. Braving heavy rain, crowds of tearful mourners from across the Valley followed the cortege through the streets of this sleepy hamlet in Baramulla district. Amongst those who took part in the last rites of the journalist and visited his ancestral home to condole with the family were opposition leader Omar Abdullah and ministers from the PDP and the BJP. It was probably the biggest funeral procession the village had seen, observers said.
There was a traffic jam in the area as the crowds of mourners swelled. The editor of Rising Kashmir’ and his two personal security officers (PSOs) were shot dead by terrorists outside the newspaper’s office in the heart of Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital.
Bukhari, 50, was gunned down soon after he got into his car from his office at Press Enclave in the city centre, Lal Chowk. Bukhari was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan.