Senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead
Mehbooba shocked, KEG condemns dastardly act
Srinagar: Senior Journalist and Editor-In-Chief of Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari and his personal security guard were killed by unknown gunmen at Press Enclave here on Thursday evening.
Eye witnesses said that gunmen opened indiscriminate fire as soon as Bukhari was disembarking from his vehicle at the press enclave around 7:00 pm.
The gunmen fled from the spot while Bukhari and his PSO were removed to SMHS hospital where both of them declared brought dead, they said.
The bodies of the duo were lying at PCR for further formalities when this report was last filed.
Kashmir Editors guild also condemned the dastardly attack on senior Journalist Shujaat Bukhari, Editor Rising Kashmir.
Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) is strongly condemning the dastardly attack on senior Journalist Shujaat Bukhari, Editor Rising Kashmir. It is yet another shameful attack on the media in Kashmir that has been surviving with such attacks since 1989, a KEG statement said.
Shujaat was shot dead while he was leaving from his office minutes ahead of Iftar when a group of gunmen, apparently waiting for him to get into his car, fired a volley of bullets on his vehicle. The firing continued for a few minutes and triggered a mass scare.
Media persons contacted police to seek help. It took police some time to reach the spot and evacuate the injured to the hospital.
KEG, while strongly condemning the act has termed the killing as dastardly and a great loss to the media fraternity in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Media in Kashmir has been operating in a testing situation in Kashmir for all these decades of crisis. The intermittent killings and attacks have been adding the crisis in which the media was barely surviving.
Shujaat has been a senior journalist who rose from a reporter. He had a long inning in The Hindu which he left at the position of senior assistant editor to take-over the Rising Kashmir. He reported Kashmir turmoil since 1990s and was well respected in the fraternity for his contributions he made to the institution of media. One of the prominent faces of the media, Shujaat was one of the few journalists who was a keen lover of art and culture and headed the Adbi Markaz Kamraz for many years.
Shujaat has survived a serious heart attack only two years back. He is survived by his wife and two kids, a son and a daughter.
In an emergency meeting, KEG strongly condemned the brutal attack .It is tragic that every time the killers need a hit in the media, they descent down the press colony and kill. KEG is demanding speedy investigation in the brutal attack so that killers are identified and punished.
KEG wants to convey to the players of Kashmir turmoil that killing journalists will not further the cause of any side but will perpetuate the crisis further. At the same time, we need to convey that Kashmir media has survived the worst situations and will survive this dastardly murder as well.
“Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. 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,” Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
Later in a condolence message, the Chief Minister described the killing of Bukhari as highly barbaric, deplorable and condemnable. His killing today has only established that violence cannot stand the scrutiny of logic and rationality, she said in her statement adding the whole State today stands in unanimity in condemning this inhuman act of savagery.
Mehbooba Mufti said the role and contribution rendered by Shujaat Bukhari in institutionalisation the media here has become part of the journalistic history of the State. “One would always see him raising issues of common cause concerning people. He would often fight for the issues of people through his columns and various discussions but alas this voice of people stands silenced today brutally”, she added in her message.
The Chief Minister visited the Hospital and paid her respects to the departed soul. She also conveyed her heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family particularly his parents, wife and two kids.
Bukhari, earlier also worked with The Hindu newspaper as its Kashmir correspondent.
Bukhari was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan.
Bukhari did his Masters in Journalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Manila as a fellow of Asian Centre for Journalism, Singapore. He is a recipient of the World Press Institute (WPI) USA fellowship and Asian Centre for Journalism Singapore fellowship. He is a permanent fellow at both institutions. Bukhari has also been a fellow at East West Centre at Hawaii USA.