Srinagar, Jun 14:
Veteran journalist and editor of local news paper Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari was gunned down at Press colony in Srinagar on Thursday. Bukhari was in his car when he was attacked by unidentified gunmen outside his office. The driver of the car and a personal security officer (PSO) were also injured in the attack. All three were rushed to the nearest hospital where Bukhari succumbed.
Bukhari was leaving his office in Press Enclave at Lal Chowk for an Iftar party when he was shot, officials said. He was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Mehbooa Mufti has strongly condemned the killing of veteran journalist and Editor of daily Rising Kashmir, Dr. Syed Shujaat Bukhari, who was killed this evening at his office in Srinagar.
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.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today condemned the killing of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar and termed it an “act of cowardice”.
The veteran journalist and his PSO were shot dead by
unidentified gunmen outside the newspaper’s office in Press Enclave near Lal Chowk in Srinagar today.
Expressing shock at the journalist’s death, the home minister tweeted, “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,” he said on Twitter.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi too expressed grief over the death of the journalist and said Bukhari was fearlessly fighting for peace in Jammu and Kashmir.
“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 (sic),” Gandhi said.
BJP national General Secretary Ram Madhav also termed the senior journalist’s killing a cowardly act by the terrorists.
In a tweet, he said, “Shocked to hear about d attack on d Editor-in-Chief of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar. Reprehensible n condemnable cowardly act of d terrorists (sic)”
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said “He (Bukhari) did extremely good work during the floods in 2014. He was a nice person. In his death we have not only lost a good journalist but also a brilliant social worker.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah said, “Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time.”
Abdullah also posted a screenshot of his last conversation with Bukhari on Twitter.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted, “Deeply saddened to learn about the dastardly killing of @RisingKashmir editor #ShujaatBukhari. Such an attempt to suppress the sane voices by terrorists will never succeed.”
Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore called Bukhari’s killing an attack on the freedom of press.
“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,” he said on Twitter.
The Editors Guild of India tweeted, “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. We will be issuing a more detailed statement soon.”
Meanwhile, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also expressed his condolence over the demise of Bukhari. “I’m in complete shock. Hearing the worst but hoping for the best. @bukharishujaat please pull through this. 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,” tweeted Abdullah.
Meanwhile, The Press Club of Jammu has condemned the attack on Shujaat Bukhari, the Chief Editor of Rising Kashmir, who was shot dead outside his office in Srinagar by unidentified gunmen on Thursday evening.
The Managing Committee in an urgent meeting, held in the Club premises here, president Ashwani Kumar strongly condemned the attack on a senior Journalist Shujaat Bukhari.
“This is not the first case, in past as well, there have been cases of assault and attack on journalists while on duty and it is a direct attack on the fourth pillar of our democracy,” pointed out Ashwani Kumar and demanded that the state government must ensure safety of journalists.
He said that the terrorists eye on soft targets and the attack on the fourth pillar in highly condemnable.
“The 90s like situation has once again seems to be returning in the Kashmir valley when the journalists were used to be attacked and assassinated,” he rued.
Secretary General, Press Club of Jammu, Zorawar Singh Jamwal said the journalists are being made soft target by the militant outfits and anti-social elements in the militancy-hit state of Jammu and Kashmir. “I’m in complete shock after hearing about the attack on a senior journalist,” he said and demanded safety of journalists.
He however, also sought security for the journalist fraternity especially for those who are into field and putting their lives on risk while performing professional duties.
Shujaat was also an active member of Press Club of Jammu. He remained associated with national dailies The Hindu and The Indian Express also.
Besides others, those who attended the meeting included, Vice-President, PCJ, Abhimanyu Sharma, Treasurer, Dinesh Manhotra and members of the Managing Committee, Ajay Bachloo, Deepak Khajuria, Dinesh Mahajan, Nishikant Khajuria, Pawan Sharma, Surjeet Singh and Vishal Bharti.
Bukhari was shot multiple times outside his office in Press Avenue, one of the busiest areas in Srinagar. He was accompanied by his driver and Personal Security Officer. They have also been shot and were also taken to the hospital.
Bukhari was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000.