Journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

Journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

Shujaat Bukhari
Senior journalist and editor of local English daily ‘Rising Kashmir’ Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead along with his two personal security officers (PSOs) by unidentified gunmen outside his office at Press Colony, here on Thursday evening. 
Sources said two to three gunmen on a motorcycle appeared near press enclave around 7.10 pm and opened indiscriminate fire on Bukhari and his two personal security officials (PSOs) when he was coming out of his office and boarding his car. He was reportedly hit by multiple bullets.
The gunmen fled from the spot while Bukhari and his PSOs were removed to hospital, where they were declared brought dead, a police officer said.

Bukhari, whose elder brother Basharat is a senior minister in the Mehbooba Mufti-led government, was given police protection in 2006 after unidentified gunmen tried to abduct him. He is the first journalist to be killed in Kashmir since the editor of a local news gathering agency, Parvaz Sultan, was killed in 2002.

Bukhari, who started his career at Kashmir Times in the early 1990s before moving to The Hindu as its Kashmir bureau chief, was one of the senior-most and respected journalists in Kashmir. He quit The Hindu in 2011 and took over as the editor of Rising Kashmir which is owned by his family.

Bukhari did his Masters in Journalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, as a fellow of Asian Centre for Journalism, Singapore, and was the recipient of the World Press Institute (WPI) USA fellowship and Asian Centre for Journalism Singapore fellowship.

The killing of Bukhari, who was in his early 50s, has sent shock waves across Kashmir. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti broke down at the SMHS hospital here when reporters asked her to comment over the killing.

Earlier, Mehbooba tweeted: "Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family.” 

Her predecessor and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted: “Even in the last tweet he put out he was defending himself, his colleagues & his profession. He died in the line of duty doing what he did best & loved doing - journalism. #ShujaatBukhari (sic).”