SRINAGAR — In Indian-held Kashmir, unknown gunmen on June 14, 2018 shot dead the Chief Editor of daily Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari outside his office at Press Avenue in Srinagar. Shuijaat Bukhari who also worked for BBC received multiple bullets in his head and abdomen.
Shujaat was accompanied by his two personal security guards. They were also injured in the attack and later succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.
One of his guards was also killed in the attack and another is critically injured, police told the BBC.
No group has claimed the killings but local people believe it was the work of fundamentalist Hindu militants who had been threatening him for some time.
According to BBC, Bukhari had described the threat to Kashmiri journalists as early as in a 2016 article for BBC News. “Threats to life, intimidation, assault, arrest, and censorship have been part of the life of a typical local journalist,” he wrote.
He was well-known in Kashmir and was previously a correspondent for the Indian newspaper The Hindu. He was in his early 50s and is survived by his wife, son, daughter, and parents.
Pakistan condemns assassination
Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman today strongly condemned the killing of a journalist in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
“We have learned with deep shock and sadness about the assassination of noted Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari by unknown gunmen outside his office in Srinagar around Iftar time today. He was known for carrying out his professional responsibilities with courage and conviction. There can be no justification for anyone to commit such brutality, which cannot be condemned enough.”
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman added: “As we pray for Shujaat Bukhari’s soul to rest in eternal peace, our profound thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time. May the Almighty Allah grant them the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. Ameen!”
In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists on Thursday strongly condemned the killing of the editor of the English-language daily newspaper Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari, in Srinagar, Kashmir. Unknown attackers shot Bukhari today at close range in the city’s Press Colony, according to news reports.
“The killing of Shujaat Bukhari is a profound loss to the journalism community and a blatant attack on freedom of the press,” said Robert Mahoney, CPJ’s deputy executive director. “Journalists working in Jammu and Kashmir have long been subject to a range of threats. Authorities must turn this rising tide of risks by thoroughly investigating this murder and holding the perpetrators to account.”
In a related development, two more Kashmiri youths had been martyred in an ongoing operation launched by the Indian troops in a forest area in north Kashmir’s Bandipore district. Over a dozen Kashmiris have been killed by Indian occupation forces in first two weeks of June while 32 Kashmiris were killed by Indian security forces in May 2018.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai condemns the attack
Meanwhile Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum harshly condemned the anonymous but cowardly killing of a senior journalist and Chief Editor of Rising Kashmir, Syed Shujaat Bukhari. Mr. Bukhari had previously been attacked, but the attackers were left unapprehended. Fai urged the establishment of an independent and impartial investigation body to investigate the killing and prepare an official report so that justice will be done.
Fai denounced the attempt to assault freedom of the press and praised the Shujaat Bukhari for his unswerving devotion to his vocation educating the public about the freedom of thought and expression.
Fai added that there is no room for debate over assassinating an innocent person, like Syed Shujaat Bukhari. It is criminal. It is brutal. It is sinful. And it is an evil that begets only more evil. No cause, Fai insisted, overrides the humanitarian imperative of sparing innocent civilians from death, injury, or psychological trauma.