Bukhari’s demise shocks Kashmir, Intelligentsia in Delhi
KNS condoles demises, extends condolences to bereaved family
Srinagar, Veteran journalist and Rising Kashmir Editor-In-Chief Dr Shujaat Bukhari was Thursday evening shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside his office in the heart of Srinagar the summer capital. Kashmir News Service condoles the demise of Bukhari and extends condolences to the bereaved family .
Entire Jammu & Kashmir state went into a mourning mode soon after Bukhari’s demise was splashed on national and local news channel. Dr Bukhari’s demise left Journalist and people of all shades into tears.
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.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a message that she was shocked and saddened by Bukhari’s “sudden demise”. “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,” the chief minister said on Twitter.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted saying he was in complete shock. “Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time,” he tweeted, adding, “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 & another lies injured in hospital. Prayers & condolences for them & their families also on this terrible night.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh called it an attempt to silence one of the ‘saner voices’. He wrote on Twitter: “The killing of @RisingKashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained at his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family.”
I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rahtore also expressed his condolences saying: “Assassination of #ShujaatBukhari is a brutal attack on freedom of press. A cowardly and deplorable act of terror. Our fearless media is one of the greatest strength of our democracy and we are committed to provide a safe and conducive working environment to media persons.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi also condemned the killing, saying he had a brave heart. He wrote: “I’m anguished to hear about the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, editor of @RisingKashmir. He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu & Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on Twitter: “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.”
The Editors Guild of India issued a statement saying they “unequivocally” condemned the attack. “The Editors Guild of India unequivocally condemns the assassination of Rising Kashmir Editor Shujaat Bukhari. This is a grave attack on press freedom and democratic voices.”
Mr. Bukhari was a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir. The Guild calls upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to take urgent steps to bring to book the culprits and ensure safety and security for the media in the state.
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 that is going through militancy. The Guild also calls upon the state and central government to enhance security for all journalists in Jammu and Kashmir. Recent weeks have also seen threats of violence against many journalists in different parts of the country.
The killing of Mr Bukhari is a new low in a rapidly deteriorating environment for media practitioners in Kashmir, in particular, and in the country in general. The Guild calls upon the Centre to take note of the developments and take necessary steps to ensure a situation where the media can discharge its duties without any fear of violence. The state and central governments must enhance security for all journalists in Jammu and Kashmir.
Malini Parthasarathy, Director – Editorial Strategy, The Hindu, said she was deeply saddened. “Deeply saddened and stunned by the brutal murder of Shujaat Bukhari , a very dear friend, colleague and someone I’ve long admired for his gutsy and principled reporting. He called out extremism without mincing words. His assassination is unforgivable.”
Journalist Nidhi Razdan tweeted, “Devastating news. @bukharishujaat has been shot dead in Srinagar. Shot coming out of his office. Such an utterly senseless senseless horrific act of violence. Don’t have any words.”
Senior journalist Shekher Gupta: Heartbreaking, the loss of Shujaat Bukhari, an incredibly brave editor & an invaluable voice of middle-ground moderation. This is a loss for all Kashmiri’s, India and the entire journalistic community.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he was anguished to hear about the killing of Mr. Bukhari. “He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu & Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted. The party’s official twitter handle also conveyed its condolences. “Our condolences to the family of @bukharishujaat for their tragic loss in such a violent way. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.”
D. Raja, national secretary, CPI: We condemn the killing of senior journalist Shujat Bukhari. It is shocking that journalists are being targeted in this manner and it is a sad day not just for Jammu and Kashmir but for the entire country. Shujat was known for his courage and conviction.
Human rights organisation Amnesty International wrote on their twitter account: We’re deeply dismayed to hear about the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, editor of @RisingKashmir. He was a brave and outspoken voice for justice and equality in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sitanshu Kar, Principal Spokesperson, Government of India & Director General of Press Information Bureau: Extremely saddened by the way the voice of Shujaat Bukhari, one of the finest journalists of J&K, has been silenced. His voice of moderation will be missed by all.
It was not immediately clear how many gunmen attacked Bukhari, who earlier worked with The Hindu newspaper as its Special Correspondent in Jammu & Kashmir for more than a decade with professional integrity. Bukhari was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He also headed the largest literary organization “Adbi Markz Kamraz” and commanded a great deal of respectability among the literary circle in Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmir News Service (KNS) condoles the demise of Dr Shujjat Bukhari and extends heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. Kashmir News Service Mohammad Aslam said “The demise of Dr Shujjat Bukhari has shocked me in person, my family and every member of KNS. We are in shock and grief and pray for eternal peace to the departed sou