June 2018 News

Noted Journalist Shujaat Bukhari Killed

14 June 2018
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: A group of armed persons Thursday evening appeared in Srinagar's Press Enclave and shot dead prominent journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Rising Kashmir newspaper, Shujaat Bukhari along with his two personal security guards. Bukhari was attacked when he had just boarded his vehicle outside his office at around 7 pm. He was hit by multiple bullets fired from a close range. Two security guards escorting him were also killed. Soon after the attack, he was rushed to nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Bukhari is survived by elderly parents, wife and two children, a girl and a boy. Bukhari, who was in his 50s, was leaving his office in Press Enclave in the city centre for an iftar party when he was shot, officials said. It was not immediately clear how many gunmen attacked Bukhari, who earlier worked with The Hindu newspaper as its Kashmir correspondent. He had started his professional career in 1996 from the Kashmir Times. A police statement issued regarding the incident reads: 'It is learnt that militants this evening fired upon senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the daily Rising Kashmir Mr Shujaat Bukhari at Press Enclacve Lal Chowk. While Mr Shujaat Bukhari was traveling in a car near Press enclave he was fired upon indiscriminately which resulted in instant death of Mr Bhukari and a PSO who was with him.' The other injured PSO who was shifted to the hospital in critical condition has succumbed to his injury, it said. 'In the aftermath of the incident Mr Shujaat and the other injured were immediately shifted to the nearby hospital by the Police, where they were declared as brought dead,' Police said, adding, 'Preliminary investigational finding indicates this as a terror attack. Police is investigating the case and condemns this gruesome terror act.' Bukhari was given Police protection after an attack on him in the year 2000. Bukhari was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan, Press Trust of India reported. His brother, Syed Basharat Bukhari, is a minister in Mehbooba Mufti's cabinet. Bukhari was born in Kreeri area in Pattan, Baramulla. He had completed his masters in journalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, as a fellow of Asian Centre for Journalism, Singapore and was a recipient of the World Press Institute (WPI) USA fellowship and Asian Centre for Journalism Singapore fellowship. He was a permanent fellow at both institutions. Bukhari had also been a fellow at East West Centre in Hawaii, USA. Bukhari had started Rising Kashmir Interactions in which he would invite leading figures from across the country to deliver lectures to reporters. Last year, historian Ramachandra Guha gave a lecture at an event of the newspaper. Guha was impressed with the range of questions he faced during the programme. A few days ago, Bukhari had stated that he would be leaving Facebook for good. He was angry and pained over the hate write-ups written in little-known web portals against him. His death has brought shock to the entire journalistic community in Kashmir. 'Completely devastated by barbaric killing of my dearest friend Shujaat Bukhari. Shujaat always feared such an attack on his life. I am not sure whether authorities had ever taken cognizance of threat perception to him,' senior journalist Zafar Chaudhary said. As the former president of Adbi Markaz Kamraz, Shujaat was well known in literary circles. His body was taken to his native place at Kreeri where he will be laid to rest on Friday at his ancestral graveyard at 11 am.