Shujaat Bukhari, senior journalist and editor of Rising Kashmir, was shot dead by terrorists outside the newspaper’s office in the heart of Srinagar today. The shocking incident a day ahead of Eid happened when Bukhari,50, was leaving his office in Press Enclave in the city centre Lal chowk for an iftar party. One of his personal security officers (PSO) was also killed while another policeman and a civilian were injured, police said.
The veteran journalist previously worked with The Hindu newspaper as its Kashmir correspondent. He was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan, according to PTI.
Bukhari’s profile on Risingkashmir.com says he worked as Bureau Chief of Kashmir for 15 years. “An extensively travelled journalist Bukhari is a writer in Kashmiri and Urdu and is also the president of Adbee Markaz Kamraz, the biggest and oldest cultural and literary organization of Valley,” it says.
The killing of Bukhari was condemned by all political parties. Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: ” The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family.” Mufti broke down while denouncing the “mindless” killing of the veteran journalist. TV reported showed her crying as she recalled her meeting with Bukhari. ” “What can I say. Only a few days ago he had come to meet me,” an emotional Mufti said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: ” “I’m in complete shock. Hearing the worst…Inna lilahi wa inna illahi rajiuun. Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time.”
“Even in the last tweet he put out he was defending himself, his colleagues & his profession. He died in the line of duty doing what he did best & loved doing – journalism. Along with Shujaat, his security chap was also killed and another lies injured in hospital. Prayers and condolences for them and their families on this terrible night,” Abdullah tweeted.
Congress president Rahul gandhi tweeted: “I’m anguished to hear about the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, editor of Rising Kashmir. He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu and Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed.”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: “Killing of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari is act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family.”
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Saddened and shocked at the brutal killing of respected editor and senior journalist @bukharishujaat. With a few hours to go for Eid this is terrible. No words are enough for this big tragedy.”