Srinagar: Veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead on Thursday evening outside his office in a terror attack.
The editor of Rising Kashmir was shot at from close range and two of his security officers were also killed in the attack.
Shujaat was heading for home from the Press Colony when multiple bullets hit him.
According to police sources, the killers laid in wait for Bukhari and it appeared to be a pre-planned attack. “However, it was not clear who were responsible for the attack,” Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP said.
He said the killers chose the iftaar time when everybody was rushing home. “Today at about 7:30 pm, when he was coming out of his office and boarding his car, three terrorists, who had come on a motorcycle, opened fire. Two of his personal security officers were also hit. They were shot before they could react. We will look into who these people are,” he added.
Shujaat Bukhari was also attacked in 2000, after which he was given police protection. He had organized various peace conferences in Kashmir and was also a part of the Track II process with Pakistan.
His death shook the nation and many, including ministers and press club strongly condemned the killing. “Press Club of India is shocked and saddened by this mindless attack that claimed the life of Shujaat Bukhari in the holy month of Ramzan. It shows that the lives of journalists are not at all safe. forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir valley have silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace,” said Press Club of India.
The unfortunate incident took place hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a security review meeting for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage, which will start later this month. According to sources, Rajnath’s peace initiative in Kashmir, a ceasefire, expected to end with Eid, will not extend beyond Ramzan.
A data collected by the Home Ministry indicate an increase by more than 100 percent in terror-related incidents in Kashmir valley, during Ramzan.