SRINAGAR: The killing of senior journalist and editor of daily Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari has been widely condemned. Bukhari along with his two PSOs were shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Thursday evening at press enclave here. He was buried on Friday at his ancestral graveyard in Kreeri Pattan of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, former CM Omar Abdullah, home minister Rajnath Singh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, resistance leadership including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, and media fraternity across India expressed shock and grief over the killing and condemned it in strong words.
Several ministers, bureaucrats, journalists, police officers, businessmen and resistance leaders participated in the funeral prayers.
Geelani expresses grief
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani in a statement once again expressed grief over the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, saying, “Our faith teaches us that killing of an innocent is tantamount to killing of whole humanity and it is unfortunate that our elders have to shoulder the coffins of their youngsters on daily basis.”
The statement said that on the directions of Geelani, his both sons Naeem Zaffar Geelani and Naseem Zaffar Geelani and Hurriyat chief spokesperson G A Gulzar participated in the funeral of Shujaat Bukhari at his native village Keeri.
Mirwaiz demands int’l, impartial probe
Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq while condemning the killing of Shujaat Bukhari termed it an assault on freedom of expression and speech and a cowardly act to silence meaningful voices.
Addressing the faithful at the historic Jamia Masjid here during Friday prayers, Mirwaiz said that Shujaat was not only a great journalist and intellectual but a well-wisher of his people who would always be on the forefront of defending Kashmir and Kashmiris projecting the people’s issues and aspirations truthfully without fear or favour throughout his decades-long journalistic career.
He said it is because of the contribution of the vibrant Kashmiri media that reports with sincerity and against all odds that the world community that the ground situation in Kashmir gets highlighted.
Mirwaiz said while everyone has denounced the dastardly act, the question that comes to mind is who then is behind such crimes?
“We all want to know who these assailants are; whoever they are, one thing is clear: they have nothing to do with our sacred struggle. Our struggle is based on principles, on justice, on humanity, on humanness and these beastly acts are the very opposite of it,” he said.
Demanding an international and impartial probe to nab the killers of Shujaat Bukhari, Mirwaiz said, “As all have condemned it unanimously, a joint investigation commission comprising members from India, Pakistan, militant leadership and Hurriyat and the people of Kashmir could be formed to expose those behind such heinous crimes.”
A funeral prayer in absentia was held at Jamia Masjid. Also a Hurriyat (M) delegation led by Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat and G N Zaki participated in funeral prayers of Shujat Bukhari.
Unfortunate, says Malik
Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik in a statement termed Bukhari’s killing as unfortunate. He along with a party delegation visited Kreeri Pattan and participated in funeral prayers of Bukhari.
Malik also met with Bukhari’s father and expressed solidarity with him and the bereaved family.
Outcome of occupation: Sehrai
Chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai on Friday expressed deep grief over the gruesome killing of Shujat Bukhari.
Strongly condemning the act, Sehrai in a statement extended condolence to the grieved family.
He said the prevailing chaos, uncertainty and a mysterious killing is the outcome of “forced occupation” of state. He prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.
Shujaat was crusader for people’s rights: PDP
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) paid tributes to Shujaat Bukhari, terming him a seer, intellectual and a person of a remarkable spirit.
A statement issued here said a meeting of PDP’s Political Affairs Committee was held at party head office here and was presided over by party’s vice president Sartaj Madni.
The PAC meeting highlighted and eulogized the remarkable contributions of Shujaat Bukhari and his role in reviving the lost Kashmiri language.
“The coming generations would find Bukhari as a torchbearer of steadfastness, courage and unbiased journalism,” the meeting observed.
Bukhari was a lover of peace and made always relentless efforts as and when he got the opportunity through his forum, the meeting said, adding that PDP as a party feels obliged to recall his contribution as a consistent crusader and despite being an independent journalist, will always consider his ideas as part of the party’s struggle for peace and reconciliation.
Assault on essence of democracy: NC
National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah termed the killing of Shujaat Bukhari as an assault on moderation, sanity and the very essence of democracy.
They sought a speedy probe into the killing and said the government must ensure that the culprits are brought to justice as soon as possible, a statement issued here said.
Other party leaders also condemned the killing and extended condolence to the bereaved family.
Cowardice, barbaric: BJP
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) state spokesperson Altaf Thakur while condemning the killing of Shujaat Bukhari said the attack was cowardice and barbaric in all forms and it has once again been proved that terror has no religion.
In a statement issued, Thakur said that Bukhari was a veteran journalist who always worked to bring truth to the fore and never compromised with the facts while discharging his duties.
He said through such gruesome attacks, the voices of truth can’t be silenced. He said by killing Shujaat, those behind the act have actually killed humanity and justice which reflects the attackers had no honour for fearless and true journalism.
The party demanded a thorough probe into the killing to bring the perpetrators of the crime to book.
Bar demands UN probe
J&K High court Bar Association while condemning the brutal assassination of Shujaat Bukhari has demanded a UNO probe to bring the killers to book and unveil the “conspiracy”.
“There seems a likely connection between the UN report and the assassination. UN probe assumes a significance as the assassination follows the issuance of UN report on Kashmir, unique in nature and substance, whosoever has done this dastardly act is guilty of killing of humanity,” Bar said in a statement.
Attempt to scuttle people’s voice: Jama’at
Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir condemned the “gruesome and brutal murder” of Shujaat Bukhari along with his two personal security guards.
“This is a brutal attempt to scuttle the voice of the people and as such a gross violation of the fundamental right of the freedom of speech. The media represents the voice of the common masses and to kill a media person, in whatever capacity, is tantamount to choking the genuine cause of the masses,” Jama’at said in a statement.
It said the impartial media persons have always been a target of the “oppressors” so as to discourage the publication of the real situation in a society, region or country.
Irreparable loss: JKDFP
Expressing shock over the “inhuman murder” of Shujaat Bukhari, Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) has said that brutal killing is an irreparable loss to Kashmir.
JKDFP secretary general Moulana Mohammad Abdullah Tari in a statement paid tributes to Bukhari saying that his role as a professional will always be remembered.
“Those who killed Shujaat Bukhari had an aim to damage the Kashmiri society on intellectual front. His killing has proved that unknown gunmen are enemies to Kashmir and Kashmiri cause so their activities should be condemned in one voice,” he said.
“Had the brutal activities of unknown gunmen been checked initially they would not have gathered courage to kill the most prominent person of journalism in Kashmir,” Moulana said and prayed for deceased soul and expressed solidarity and condolence with the bereaved family.
Appalling brutality: National Front
Jammu Kashmir National Front has condemned in strongest words the murder of Shujaat Bukhari.
In a statement, NF general secretary Advocate Hilal Ahmad Wani said this “appalling brutality” has shaken the entire Kashmiri nation.
“Such inhuman acts are intolerable in a society like Kashmir. Shujaat Bukhari was a fearless journalist and always spoke in favour of the weak. His killing is a great loss to the journalism and Kashmiri society,” Wani said. He also participated in the funeral prayers and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family.
KJA in ‘deep shock’
Kashmir Journalists Association (KJA) is in deep shock and mourning over the killing of Syed Shujaat Bukhari, a statement issued here said.
“We pay tributes to him for his acumen and courage he has shown while working tirelessly in the field of journalism. His killing is attack on the institution of journalism and freedom of press in J&K,” KJA said and expressed condolence and sympathy with the bereaved family.
We lost a great journalist: IUST
Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) Awantipora while condemning the killing of Shujaat Bukhari said he was a well wisher of the university and was adjunct faculty in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“The University in particular and people of the state in general have lost a great journalist, a visionary scholar and a noble soul,” IUST said in a statement and prayed for the departed soul and patience to the bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss.
Attack on free and fair journalism: KUTA
Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) condemned the “cold blooded and brutal murder” of Shujaat Bukhari and termed his killing as an assault on the freedom of speech and expression as well as on free and fair journalism.
A spokesperson of KUTA in a statement described Shujaat Bukhari as “a fearless journalist, a noble soul, an epitome of impeccable human character, an ace political analyst, a quiet philanthropist, an ardent orator, an erudite writer and above all a Kashmiri nationalist to the core”.
The Association has called for an immediate end to such killings that are totally unpardonable, unjustifiable and unacceptable.
Dir Info hails Shujaat’s contribution
Secretary Information Sarmad Hafeez and Director Information Tariq Ahmad Zargar have expressed deep anguish over the killing of Shujaat Bukhari.
Recalling Shujaat’s contribution to the field of journalism in the state, the Director Information and Secretary Information said that he was always working for the cause of the journalists besides contributing immensely in social and literary arenas.
Director Archives, Archaeology & Museums Muneer-ul-Islam has also expressed deep grief and shock over the killing of Shujaat Bukhari.
Tasaduq Mufti expresses grief
Minister for Tourism Tassaduq Hussain Mufti while expressing grief over the killing of Shujaat Bukhari said the late journalist was a man who stood for peace.
“He did so with conviction, perseverance and fortitude. He did so against all odds and despite a serious threat to his life,” Tassaduq said in a statement. “A day of festivities has become a day of mourning. My heart goes out to the bereaved families. My deepest condolences.”
Asiea Naqash expresses sympathy
Minister of State for Housing & Urban Development, Social Welfare, Health & Medical Education, Power Development and Industries & Commerce, Asiea Naqash expressed heartfelt sympathy with Basharat Ahmed Bukhari, cabinet minister, who is Shujaat Bukhari’s brother, and prayed for eternal peace and highest place in heaven to the departed soul.
She also expressed sympathy with the bereaved family members and prayed for courage to them to bear the irreparable loss.
He was a courageous journalist: MLA Shopian
MLA Shopian Advocate Mohammad Yousuf Bhat has expressed immense pain on the killing of Shujaat Bukhari and described the attack as an attempt to silence the genuine and saner voice of Kashmir.
“He (Bukhari) was a brave and fearless journalist and his death has created a vacuum in the journalistic arena of country in general and state in particular,” MLA said.
“The media fraternity has been deprived of a courageous journalist, fiercely independent and someone who the Valley’s civil society will gravely miss one of its most robust voices,” he said and expressed sympathy with the bereaved family.
His contribution remarkable: KTF
In a statement, Kashmir Traders Federation chief spokesperson Ajaz Shahdhar condemned the killing of Shujaat Bukari saying his contribution towards the society was remarkable and his personality in whole was great.
“He was a noble and pious sole. The gap which has occurred by his death cannot be filled at all,” he said.
UJC demands int’l probe
United Jihad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of Kashmir-based militant organisations, has demanded an international probe into the killing of Shujaat Bukhari.
In a statement issued to KNS, UJC spokesperson Syed Sadaqat Hussain quoted the outfit chief Syed Salahuddin as condemning the killing of senior journalist, saying “Bukhari though his newspapers always highlighted the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir at international level.”
“Bukhari’s killing has raised many questions as he was killed at a time when the UN human rights commission released a report on the HR violations in Kashmir,” he said.
“We believe that Indian agencies have killed Bukhari,” UJC chief, according to statement, said.
LeT blames Indian agencies
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has strongly condemned the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari and blamed Indian agencies for the attack.
LeT chief Mehmood Shah in a statement issued to GNS said, “Killing of Shujaat Bukhari is a conspiracy hatched to suppress the voice of indigenous freedom struggle. Indian agencies have enmity towards every individual who is loyal to the freedom movement. The world must pay attention to India’s vicious and ill-fated conspiracies.”
Shah claimed that India was “keen to kill every individual who is vocal about the indigenous freedom struggle and its atrocities.”
“India’s former army chiefs themselves are taking part in such conspiracies. India’s motive behind such vicious act is to blame Mujahideen for their own wrongdoings but the freedom fighters have never targeted the civilians,” he said, adding, “The killing of Shujaat Bukhari is also a wrongdoing of India’s secret agencies which is a highly condemnable act.”