Tributes are pouring in for Shujaat Bukhari, Rising Kashmir newspaper editor shot dead at close range Thursday evening by unidentified gunmen in Srinagar. This wasn't the first attack on Bukhari though; he was given police protection after an attack on him in 2000.
Friends and colleagues whose paths crossed with Bukhari's remember him as "anything but polite" and a "formidable reporter". Historian Ramachandra Guha describes Bukhari as "gentle in demeanour, a bridge between hostile groups" hours before Bukhari was confirmed dead.
Across the political aisle too, messages streamed in throughout the night: Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "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."
Omar Abdullah tweeted a picture of Rising Kashmir's latest edition:
The show must go on. As Shujaat would have wanted it to. This is today’s @RisingKashmir issue. That Shujaat’s colleagues were able to bring out the paper in the face of insurmountable grief is a testament to their professionalism & the most fitting tribute to their late boss. pic.twitter.com/ADP70D4F1q
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 14, 2018
"This is a shameful act. Media is free in India. The state govt and the central govt are committed for the freedom of press in the country and the state", Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said.
Bukhari was attacked from close range while in his car near the Rising Kashmir newspaper office in the Press Enclave area of Residency Road. Bukhari was on his way home after an Iftar party at the office. “Three motorcycle-borne militants came and fired at Bukhari and his guards", state police chief SP Vaid said.
One of Bukhari's guards was also killed in the attack and another is critically injured, police said.
No group has claimed the killings but Jammu and Kashmir police told ANI that Shujaat Bukhari's killing was a "terror attack" based on its preliminary investigation.
Hours before he died, Bukhari tweeted a Rising Kashmir report headlined: 'First-ever UN human rights report on Kashmir calls for international inquiry into multiple violations'.
Before taking the helm at Rising Kashmir, Bukhari worked as bureau chief of The Hindu..
Terrible to hear about Shujaat Bukhari. He engaged, he agreed, he disagreed — but not once was he anything but polite. Condolences to his family. We are all poorer today
— Ashok Malik (@MalikAshok) June 14, 2018
This is shocking news! Shujaat was a voice of truth and reason and decency. All of us at The Friday Times are immeasurably grieved. We condemn this dastardly attack. https://t.co/Q2LvDJvmke
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) June 14, 2018
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 — Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) June 14, 2018
Had a conversation with him just 20 minutes before the incident. It's really shocking.This is the situation of journalists in Kashmir.Jinke haath khoon se range huye hain, unko introspect karna hoga: Iftikhar Gilani, Senior Journalist on the killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari pic.twitter.com/Dy4rW6s6hN
— ANI (@ANI) June 14, 2018
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Updated Date: Jun 15, 2018 03:33:37 IST