When veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Thursday, it was not the first time he had been targeted. In June 2006, Bukhari was abducted by unknown gunmen from Srinagar’s Residency Road and bundled into an auto-rickshaw. After travelling a few kilometres, the abductors pushed him out of the moving vehicle and tried to open fire on him. Their pistol didn’t work and Bukhari survived.
After the incident, the Jammu and Kashmir government provided him security cover and he was guarded round the clock by state police personnel. Bukhari was active in literary circles and was the president of ‘Adbee Markaz Kamraz’, the Valley’s oldest and biggest cultural and literary body, for two years. He was at the forefront of a movement for the promotion of Kashmiri language in schools. Bukhari worked with UK-based Conciliation Resources, an independent organisation working with people in conflict regions to prevent violence and build peace.