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From home minister to separatist leader, senior Kashmiri journalist’s murder draws condemnation

Senior journalist and editor of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unknown gunmen along with his personal security officer outside his office in Srinagar.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2018 22:47 IST
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside his office in Srinagar.(PTI)

The shooting of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari sent shock waves across the state and country on Thursday. Politicians, separatists and journalists across the spectrum condemned the killing, days before Eid.

Home minister Rajnath Singh termed the killing as an attempt to silence the voices of reason. “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 tweeted.

Bukhari was shot dead by unknown gunmen along with his personal security guards outside the Rising Kashmir office in Srinagar.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the act. “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,” she wrote on twitter.

She blamed the killing on terrorism. “Terrorism has hit a new low with Shujaat’s killing. That too on the eve of Eid. We must unite against forces seeking to undermine our attempts to restore peace. Justice will be done,” she said

Congress president Rahul Gandhi termed Bukhari a brave heart. “‏ 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,” he said.

Former state chief minister and National Conference president Omar Abdullah said he was shocked. “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. #ShujaatBukhari,” Omar wrote on twitter.

“My last DM exchange with #ShujaatBukhari. I can’t believe the mulaqat we were going to fix will never take place now. Life is just too uncertain & often too unkind,” he said.

Separatists react

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani condemned the killing, saying it was against moral and human ethics to kill a person without any justification.

Moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that the killing was inhuman and unpardonable. ‏ “Deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic news of Shujaat Bukharis killing! Such inhumanity is unpardonable and condemned in the strongest terms! Proud son of the soil his death is a huge loss,” he said.

“Shujaat was an erudite intellectual a fearless journalist and above all a selfless human deeply concerned for his people. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family. Pray to almighty for his magfirat and place in Jannat,” Mirwaiz wrote.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik termed the attack as barbaric, gruesome and a direct assault on freedom of speech and expression. Malik said that Kashmir has today lost a balanced voice at the hands of ruthless assailants and this is actually a moment of mourning for all of us.

Rising Kashmir staff devastated

The people in the newsroom of Rising Kashmir were shocked and numb but no one was ready to talk to media at this moment.

“Rising Kashmir is devastated. Moments before he was among us, now he is no more,” said an employee not wishing to be named.

First Published: Jun 14, 2018 22:37 IST