Senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unknown attackers in Srinagar on Thursday evening.Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of “Rising Kashmir” was attacked when he had just stepped out of his office in Press Colony in the city. He was reportedly hit by multiple bullets fired at a close range. A security guard protecting him and his driver were also shot. One of them has died as well.
This is the first attack on a journalist in a long time in Kashmir and has shaken the entire fraternity.”It’s a very unfortunate incident. Today at about 7:30 pm when he was coming out of his office and boarding his car, three terrorists came on a motorcycle and opened fire. Two of his PSOs (personal security officers) were also hit and one of them is no more the other is under treatment. They were shot before they could react,” Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid told NDTV.
“They (the terrorists) chose the Iftaar time when everybody was rushing home. We will look into who these people are,” he added.
Shujaat Bukhari was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000. He was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh condemned the killing.
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.
– Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 14, 2018
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed their shock on Twitter.
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.
– Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) June 14, 2018
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.
– Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 14, 2018
The Press Club of India strongly condemned Mr Bukhari’s killing.
“Press Club of India is shocked and saddened by this mindless terror attack that claimed the life of Shujaat Bukhari in the holy month of Ramzan… [it] shows that lives of journalists are not at all safe. Forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir Valley have silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace,” it said in a statement.
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.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval indicated that the offer was only for Eid.
The ceasefire was seen to trigger a spurt in terror activities. Data collected by the home ministry indicates that terror-related incidents in the Kashmir valley have increased by more than 100 percent during Ramzan.