Leaders, journalists mourn veteran editor Shujaat Bukhari's death

Shujaat Bukhari

Shujaat Bukhari   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Tributes and condolences began to pour in moments after veteran journalist and editor of Kashmiri publication Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead outside his office at Press Enclave, Srinagar.

 

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she was shocked and deeply saddened by Mr. Bukhari's sudden demise. "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," she tweeted.

"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," Ms. Mufti added.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted saying he was in complete shock. "Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time," he tweeted, adding, "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. Along with Shujaat his security chap was also killed & another lies injured in hospital. Prayers & condolences for them & their families also on this terrible night."

Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed his condolences and added that Mr. Bukhari's killing was "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.

 

The Editors Guild of India issued a statement saying they "unequivocally" condemned the attack. "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."

Mr. Bukhari was a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir. The Guild calls upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to take urgent steps to bring to book the culprits and ensure safety and security for the media in the state.

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 that is going through militancy. The Guild also calls upon the state and central government to enhance security for all journalists in Jammu and Kashmir. Recent weeks have also seen threats of violence against many journalists in different parts of the country.

The killing of Mr Bukhari is a new low in a rapidly deteriorating environment for media practitioners in Kashmir, in particular, and in the country in general. The Guild calls upon the Centre to take note of the developments and take necessary steps to ensure a situation where the media can discharge its duties without any fear of violence. The state and central governments must enhance security for all journalists in Jammu and Kashmir.

 

 

Malini Parthasarathy, Director - Editorial Strategy, The Hindu, said she was deeply saddened. "Deeply saddened and stunned by the brutal murder of Shujaat Bukhari , a very dear friend, colleague and someone I’ve long admired for his gutsy and principled reporting. He called out extremism without mincing words. His assassination is unforgivable."

Journalist Nidhi Razdan tweeted, "Devastating news. @bukharishujaat has been shot dead in Srinagar. Shot coming out of his office. Such an utterly senseless senseless horrific act of violence. Don’t have any words."

Senior journalist Shekher Gupta: Heartbreaking, the loss of Shujaat Bukhari, an incredibly brave editor & an invaluable voice of middle-ground moderation. This is a loss for all Kashmiri’s, India and the entire journalistic community.

 

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he was anguished to hear about the killing of Mr. Bukhari. "He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu & Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed," Mr. Gandhi tweeted. The party's official twitter handle also conveyed its condolences. "Our condolences to the family of @bukharishujaat for their tragic loss in such a violent way. Our prayers and thoughts are with you."

D. Raja, national secretary, CPI: We condemn the killing of senior journalist Shujat Bukhari. It is shocking that journalists are being targeted in this manner and it is a sad day not just for Jammu and Kashmir but for the entire country. Shujat was known for his courage and conviction.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International wrote on their twitter account: We're deeply dismayed to hear about the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, editor of @RisingKashmir. He was a brave and outspoken voice for justice and equality in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sitanshu Kar, Principal Spokesperson, Government of India & Director General of Press Information Bureau: Extremely saddened by the way the voice of Shujaat Bukhari, one of the finest journalists of J&K, has been silenced. His voice of moderation will be missed by all.

 

The Press Club of India issued a statement "strongly condemning" the killing of Mr. Bukhari. Here is the full statement, signed by president Gautam Lahiri and secretary-general Vinay Kumar.

Press Club of India strongly condemns the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, Editor of Rising Kashmir, by a group of terrorists in Srinagar on Thursday evening.

Press Club of India is shocked and saddened by this mindless terror attack that claimed the life of Shujaat Bukhari in the holy month of Ramzan. He had started his career as a young reporter with Kashmir Times and moved to The Hindu as its Kashmir correspondent in the 90s where his in-depth, analytical and objective reporting from the Valley got him recognition on the national and international level.

Later, he established his own English daily Rising Kashmir.

Press Club of India has time and again underlined the threat to the lives of journalists working under difficult and challenging circumstances and demanded protection for them. Reports said that Mr. Bukhari's two personal security guards also sustained injuries in the terror attack.

Terror attack that took Shujaat Bukhari's life shows that lives of journalists are not at all safe. Forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir Valley have silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace.

Press Club of India deeply mourns the loss of Shujaat Bukhari's life and extends its condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of crisis.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 9:48:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/reactions-pour-in-after-kashmir-journalist-shujaat-bukhari-shot-dead/article24164824.ece

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