Nation Mourns Loss Of 'Rising Kashmir' Editor Shujaat Bukhari, Hundreds Attend Last Rites

| June 15 , 2018 , 13:51 IST

The nation continues to mourn the loss of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of 'Rising Kashmir' newspaper who was shot dead outside his office in Srinagar on Thursday night in a terror attack. Bukhari was shot at close range and his 2 security officers were also killed as Bukhari stepped out of his office in Press Colony to head home.

Hundreds of mourners joined the funeral procession of Shujaat Bukhari in Kashmir as he was laid to rest. 

According to police, the murder seemed to be a planned attack as the killers had been waiting for Bhukari to come out of the building. An image from CCTV footage released by the police shows 3 attackers on a motorcycle carrying guns hidden in a sack. While the face of the driver of the motorcycle was hidden by a helmet, the other two men hid their faces with masks.

The Kashmir Zone police has released 3 photographs of the suspects, requesting the general public to identify the suspects.

"At about 7:30 pm when he was coming out of his office and boarding his car, three terrorists, who had come on a motorcycle, opened fire. Two of his PSOs (personal security officers) were also hit... They were shot before they could react," Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid said to 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 had been provided with police protection since an attack on him in 2000.

The attack on the senior journalist took place hours after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh conducted a security review meeting for the upcoming annual Amarnath pilgrimage that starts later this month.

The Home Minister expressed shock over the death of Bukhari in a tweet.

"The killing of Rising Kashmir 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 tweeted.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi also expressed condolences in a tweet, saying, "I’m anguished to hear about the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, editor of Rising Kashmir. He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu & Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed."

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the death in a series of tweets.

"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," tweeted Mehbooba Mufti.

"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 added.

The Editors' Guild remembered Bukhari as "a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor", and that his killing "is a new low in a rapidly deteriorating environment for media practitioners in Kashmir, in particular, and in the country in general".

In its official statement, the Editors' Guild said, "An attack on a journalist challenges the very foundations of a free press and vibrant democracy and more so in a state like Jammu and Kashmir... The Guild calls upon the Centre to take necessary steps to ensure a situation where the media can discharge its duties without any fear of violence."

The general public also expressed outrage on Twitter over the murder of Bukhari: