Shocked over the gunning down of journalist and Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari by militants, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday broke down while denouncing the “mindless” killing. TV visuals showed her crying as she recalled her meeting with the renowned journalist a few days ago.
“What can I say. Only a few days ago he had come to meet me,” an emotional Mufti said, struggling to hold back her tears.
Bukhari was leaving his office in Press Enclave in the city centre Lal Chowk for an Iftar party when he and his PSO were shot dead by unidentified gunmen, police officials said today.
“Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid,” Mufti tweeted.
“I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family. Terrorism has hit a new low with Shujaat’s killing. That too, on the eve of Eid. We must unite against forces seeking to undermine our attempts to restore peace. Justice will be done,” she said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also expressed shock at the killing of the renowned journalist who was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley and was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan. “I’m in complete shock. Hearing the worst…Inna lilahi wa inna illahi rajiuun. Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
“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,” he said.
“Along with Shujaat, his security chap was also killed and another lies injured in hospital. Prayers and condolences for them and their families on this terrible night,” he said.
Read | Who was Shujaat Bukhari?
CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said it was a “brutal” attempt by hawks to silence the messenger of peace. He said it was Tan attack on freedom of press and needs to be condemned in the strongest possible words. Bukhari, who was in his 50s, was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also expressed shock over the brutal killing. “Saddened and shocked at the brutal killing of
respected editor and senior journalist @bukharishujaat. With a few hours to go for Eid this is terrible,” Banerjee posted on her official twitter handle. “No words are enough for this big tragedy,” she tweeted.
Describing the incident as a cowardly act, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Killing of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi condoled Bukhari’s family saying he was a fearless fighter for justice and peace in the state, “I’m anguished to hear about the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, editor of Rising Kashmir. He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu & Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
The Editors Guild of India condemned the killing in a tweet: “The Editors Guild of India unequivocally condemns the assassination of Rising Kashmir Editor Shujaat Bukhari. This is a grave attack on press freedom and democratic voices. We will be issuing a more detailed statement soon.”
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said sane voices cannot be suppressed by the terrorists, he tweeted, “Deeply saddened to learn about the dastardly killing of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari. Such an attempt to suppress the sane voices by terrorists will never succeed.”