Media bodies express concern over safety of Journalists

Media bodies express concern over safety of Journalists

Shujaat Bukhari

Concerns over the safety of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir has taken centre stage following the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of the 'Rising Kashmir' newspaper by unidentified assailants outside his office on Thursday evening.

Condemning the killing of Bukhari, senior journalists and editors of the Editors Guild of India have demanded from the Centre and the J&K government measures to enhance security “for all journalists” in the trouble-torn State.

“This is a grave attack on press freedom and democratic voices. 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 Editors Guild said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the journalists, supported by the Editors Guild of India, Press Association and other media bodies, have decided to organise a solidarity meeting on June 18 in protest against the killing of the Rising Kashmir's editor.

The protest meeting is expected to bring into focus the concerns over the safety of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in other parts of the country.

More than 20 journalists have so far been murdered in different parts of the country in various incidents since 2004 with the killing of Bukhari in J&K being the latest in the series. Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was among the six journalists who were killed since 2017.

“Bukhari was a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir. His murder is a new low in a rapidly deteriorating environment for media practitioners in Kashmir, in particular, and in the country in general,” the Editors Guild noted, calling upon the governments to take “necessary steps” for the safety of journalists.