SRINAGAR: A three-member team of Press Council of India (PCI) on Sunday visited ancestral house of slain noted journalist and Rising Kashmir editor-in-chief Shujaat Bukhari to offer their condolences and expressed their solidarity with the bereaving family.
During the visit, the PCI team members including Pravat Kumar Dash, Ashok Upadyay and Professor Sushma Yadav, interacted and offered condolences to the bereaving family, especially to late Shujaat’s elderly father Syed Rafiudin Bukhari, his brother and legislator Basharat Bukhari, and to his wife and his two children.
The PCI team termed Shujaat as a thorough journalist who never compromised on his work ethics and gave his life to uphold the same. The team conveyed that Shujaat’s killing was condemned across the country, including by print and electronic media.
Attributing his killing as a cowardly act, the PCI members said the assassins did manage to kill Shujaat, but will never be able to kill his ideology.
The visiting members urged that people need to understand that a journalist is only a messenger and killing him is only unethical, but also in humane. They assured the bereaving family of all possible support.
Shujaat and two of his Special Police Officers (SPOs) were killed on June 14 when he was leaving his office at press enclave in Srinagar shortly before breaking fast in the holy month of Ramzan.
The PCI chairman Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad set up a committee comprising United News of India (UNI) Editor Ashok Upadhyay arrived here on Sunday to visit Jammu and Kashmir from July 1 to 5 to assess the media scenario in the state.
Other members of the committee include special correspondent of Pratidin, Parvat Kumar Dash and Vice Chancellor of the BPS Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, Sonepat Prof Sushma Yadav.
The team will be visiting the state and make thorough study into the present state of press in Jammu and Kashmir by holding discussions with media persons and public at large and other concerned authorities to collect such information as is deemed necessary.
Following increasing outcry over the killing of Shujaat Bukhari and concern expressed by various media bodies, Justice Prasad, on June 27 set up a three-member Sub-Committee. Following the killing of Shujaat, various media bodies urged the Jammu and Kashmir government to bring the killers of the senior journalist to book at the earliest, and institute an inquiry into the malicious campaign launched against the scribe before his murder.
In a joint statement-cum-resolution, Press Club of India, Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Association, Editors’ Guild, South Asian Free Media Association, South Asian Women in Media, Indian Journalists’ Union, National Union of Journalists, Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Working News Camerapersons Association and All India Urdu Editors Conference said the “senseless murder” of Shujaat demanded accountability at various levels.
They said everyone in the country has a sovereign right to freedom of speech and expression and “increasing intolerance” to such freedoms has the potential of “undermining the character and nature of democracy”.
“We demand that the government of Jammu and Kashmir bring the perpetrators of this dastardly crime to book at the earliest. We demand that the government institute a separate inquiry into those who had launched a malicious campaign against Shujaat,” they said.
—Courtesy: UNI Srinagar