Srinagar, June 15: Gunmen appearing in heart of the city and killing the Chief Editor of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari in broad day light has created ripples in Kashmir.
The killing has evoked widespread condemnation and everyone seems to be asking ne question. “Why was Shujaat killed?”
People associated with the local media have been left shocked at shattered. They don’t know how to react as they have lost the member of their own fraternity. “Working in Kashmir for a journalist has never been easy. Threat perception has always prevailed and Shujaat’s assassination has proved it beyond doubt that journalists are soft targets and anyone can kill them,” said a senior journalist.
He said that people of Kashmir have been caught between the devil and the deep sea for the past many years. “Countless killings during the past thirty years have made people believe that anything can happen anytime. And no one knows would be the next target,” he added.
An analyst said, “Unfortunate part is that no one is willing to take the responsibility for the killing. Militant outfits Lashkar-e-Toiba and United Jihad Council have condemned Shujaat’s killing and have termed it as the handiwork of the agencies. On the other hand people associated with the establishment are blaming militants.”
He said, “People of Kashmir want to know who is behind such killings and why human lives have no value in Kashmir.”
A Kashmir watcher said that Shujaat always wanted Kashmir to be resolved through talks. “Shujaat’s role as a peace activist was commendable. He had the courage to call spade a spade. He always made it a point to put across his views. He always wanted Kashmir and Kashmiris to be put first. Is it that he was killed as his voice had emerged as one of the saner voices in the J&K,” he added.
Shujaat’s career spanned three decades. He launched his own English language daily Rising Kashmir in 2008 and was the fulltime editor of the newspaper for past many years. While editing Rising Kashmir he launched an Urdu daily Buland Kashmir and an Urdu weekly Kashmir Parcham.
Bukhari did his Masters in Journalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Manila as a fellow of the Asian Centre for Journalism, Singapore. He was a recipient of the World Press Institute (WPI) USA fellowship and Asian Centre for Journalism Singapore fellowship.
His contribution towards journalism would always be remembered as he groomed many journalists and gave them a platform to exhibit their talent.