Srinagar: Veteran journalist and Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari and his PSO were shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside the newspaper’s office in the heart of this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital, police officials said today. Bukhari, who was in his 50s, was leaving his office in Press Enclave in the city centre Lal Chowk for an iftar party when he was shot, officials said.
While one of the personal security officers (PSO) guarding him was killed, another policeman and a civilian were injured, they added. The condition of the two injured in the shooting, which comes a day ahead of Eid, is critical, they said.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a message that she was shocked and saddened by Bukhari’s “sudden demise”. “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,” the chief minister said on Twitter.
Terrorism, she said, has hit a new low with Bukhari’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,” Mehbooba said. It was not immediately clear how many gunmen attacked Bukhari, who earlier worked with The Hindu newspaper as its Kashmir correspondent. Bukhari was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan.