Srinagar, Jun 14: The Jammu and Kashmir police on Thursday launched a probe into the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, the Editor of local English daily Rising Kashmir. The cops are suspecting it to be a terror attack. Also Read - Centre Faces Tough Question as Pressure Mounts to Impose Full Lockdown in India to Beat COVID Surge
“An investigation has been launched by the Police in the killing of Editor of Rising Kashmir newspaper Shujaat Bukhari. Our preliminary investigation indicates that it was a terror attack,” J&K police was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Also Read - Full lockdown Is The Only Way to Stop Corona Now, Govt Doesn't Get It: Rahul Gandhi
Bukhari was shot dead by gunmen in Press Colony in Srinagar city on Thursday evening. In the attack, one of his personal security officer (PSO) was also killed, while another is critically injured. He has been admitted to the hospital. Also Read - Congratulations Pour in For Mamata Banerjee as TMC Scores Landslide Victory in West Bengal
Reportedly, Bukhari was shot multiple times outside his office in Press Avenue near Lal Chowk area while he was leaving to attend an Iftar party. At the time of the attack, he was accompanied by two personal security officers.
The attack on Bukhari has been condemned by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister Omar Abdullah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi amongst others.
Mufti strongly condemned the attack on Bukhari. “Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family,” she tweeted.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh called the terrorist attack on Shujaat Bukhari an act of cowardice. “The killing of @RisingKashmir 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 at his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family,” he tweeted.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to express anguish over killing of Bukhari by terrorists. “I’m anguished to hear about the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, editor of @RisingKashmir. He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu & Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed,” he tweeted.
The Srinagar-based journalist has reportedly survived three assassination attempts during his challenging career. He was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000. In the past, he has been Bureau Chief of The Hindu.