Srinagar: The Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) strongly condemned what it called a dastardly attack on senior journalist Shujat Bukhari, Editor of Rising Kashmir newspaper, at Press Enclave in the heart of Srinagar on Thursday. Shujaat was shot dead while leaving the newspaper’s office minutes ahead of Iftar, the breaking of the day-long Ramazan fast. A group of gunmen, apparently waiting for him to get into his car, fired a volley of bullets into his vehicle. The firing continued for a few minutes.
Media persons in the area contacted the police for help. It took the police some time to reach the spot, after which they evacuated the injured, who included two personal security guards of Shujaat Bukhari, to hospital.
The KEG said the killing of Bukhari was a great loss to the media fraternity in Jammu and Kashmir.
Media in Kashmir has been operating in a testing situation in Kashmir for all these decades of crisis. The intermittent killings and attacks have been adding the crisis in which the media was barely surviving.
Shujaat was a senior journalist who rose up the ranks from being a reporter. He had a long innings in The Hindu, which he left at the position of senior assistant editor to take over Rising Kashmir. He reported on the Kashmir turmoil since the 1990s and was much respected in the fraternity for his contributions to the institution of journalism. One of the prominent faces of Kashmiri media, Shujaat was one of the few journalists who was a keen lover of art and culture and headed the literary society, Adbi Markaz Kamraz, for many years.
Shujaat had survived a serious heart attack only two years ago. He is survived by his wife and two kids: a son and a daughter.
In an emergency meeting, the KEG strongly condemned the attack and demanded a speedy investigation so that killers are identified and punished.
The KEG said it wants to convey that killing journalists will not further the cause of any side but will perpetuate the crisis further. “At the same time, we need to convey that Kashmir media has survived the worst situations and will survive this dastardly murder as well,” the KEG said.