Srinagar, June 14
Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office here, police said.
Militants fired from close range at Bukhari outside his office in the Press Enclave area of Residency Road here, critically injuring him, his driver and a security guard, police sources said.
All the three injured were shifted to hospital, where Bukhari and his driver were declared dead by doctors and the security guard is critical, the sources said.
Congress expresses anguish over Bukhari's killing, demands action (Lead)
The Congress on Thursday said he was anguished to hear about the killing of senior Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari, with party President Rahul Gandhi terming him "a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace".
The party also sought swift action to apprehend those responsible.
"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 and Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed," Gandhi said in tweets.
Bukhari, the Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir", was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office in Srinagar, police said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also expressed shock over Bukhari's killing.
"Anguished beyond words. Security situation in J&K has hit its nadir. Demand the Centre to take swift action to nab the killers. They can silence us but not our thoughts," he said in a tweet.
Journalist bodies condemn killing of senior journalist Shujat Bukhari
Several journalist bodies on Thursday condemned the killing of senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujat Bhukhari by militants in Srinagar.
They also demanded that forces responsible for his killing should be brought to book at the earliest.
Militants fired from close range at Bukhari outside his office in the Press Enclave area of Residency Road in Srinagar killing him and his driver while critically injuring a security guard.
Condemning what it called a "dastardly attack", the Editors Guild of India said that Bukhari was "a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir".
"The guild calls upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to take urgent steps to bring to book the culprits and ensure safety and security for the media in the state," it said in a statement.
It added that an attack on a journalist challenges the very foundations of a free press and vibrant democracy and more so in a state like Jammu and Kashmir that is going through militancy.
"The guild also calls upon the state and Central government to enhance security for all journalists in Jammu and Kashmir. Recent weeks have also seen threats of violence against many journalists in different parts of the country," it said.
"The killing of Bukhari is a new low in a rapidly deteriorating environment for media practitioners in Kashmir, in particular, and in the country in general," it added.
Expressing "shock", the Press Club of India also "strongly condemned" the killing in the holy month of Ramadan and said that "forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir Valley had silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace".
"Press Club of India deeply mourns the loss of Shujaat Bukhari's life and extends its condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of crisis," it said in a statement.
It added that the "terror attack" showed that lives of journalists were not safe.
"Press Club of India has time and again underlined the threat to the lives of journalists working under difficult and challenging circumstances and demanded protection for them," it said.
The Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Association and Federation of Press Clubs of India also expressed "deep shock and outrage at the brazen murder" of Bukhari.
They said that Bukhari was a respected journalist known for his wide range of analytical writings on Kashmir and that he continued to write actively despite the death threats issued to him.
"His murder can only be viewed as yet another attempt to muzzle the media and the freedom of the press in the valley," a joint statement said.
Bukhari started his career as a young reporter with Kashmir Times and moved to The Hindu in the 1990s. Later, he established his own English daily Rising Kashmir.
Senior journalist Shujat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar
Srinagar, June 14