'Rising Kashmir' editor shot dead in India-Occupied Kashmir

Shujaat Bukhari

Renowned journalist and editor-in-chief of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Srinagar's Press Colony. Reportedly, two motor-cycle borne gunmen fired indiscriminately upon Bhukhari when he was heading towards his home.

The condition of the two injured in the shooting, which comes a day ahead of Eid, is critical, they said. At the time of the attack, he was accompanied by his driver and personal security officer. They have been shot and taken to the hospital as well. Many questioned the effectiveness of the "unilateral ceasefire" which the Modi government had declared a month ago in view of Ramzan and the consensual demand of the Mehbooba Mufti-led BJP-PDP coalition government and the opposition in Jammu & Kashmir.

Bukhari, a frequent contributor to the BBC News website, was attacked in his vehicle near the office of the Rising Kashmir newspaper, which he edited.

Waseem Ahmad, a local journalist, told Reuters that he heard gunfire ringing out and, reaching the location, found Bukhari and his two guards lying in a pool of blood in their auto.

In a statement, the Editors Guild of India condemned the assassination of Bukhari. "The state government and the central government are committed for the freedom of press in the country and the state".

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) report released in December last year said that the media in Jammu and Kashmir has "walked the razor's edge" for the past 30 years, facing pressures from all sides of the conflict. He was a courageous heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu and Kashmir. "My deepest condolences to his family", the chief minister said on Twitter.

India has about 500,000 soldiers in the part of Kashmir it controls, where armed groups are fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan. He was instrumental in organising several conferences for Kashmir peace.

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