Political leaders across party lines and journalists condemned the killing of senior journalist and editor of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari in Srinager on Thursday.
In an emotional response, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, “Terrorism has hit a new low with Shujaat’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. ”
TV visuals showed her in tears as she recalled her meeting with the journalist just a few days ago. “What can I say. Only a few days ago he had come to meet me,” Ms. Mufti said, struggling to hold back her tears.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the killing was an “act of cowardice” and described the Rising Kashmir editor as a courageous and fearless journalist.
A brave heart: Rahul
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he was “anguished” by the killing of Bukhari.
“He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu & Kashmir,” Mr. Gandhi added.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said the murder was a brutal attack on freedom of press.
“Assassination of #ShujaatBukhari is a brutal attack on freedom of press. A cowardly and deplorable act of terror. Our fearless media is one of the greatest strength of our democracy and we are committed to provide a safe and conducive working environment to media persons,” the Minister tweeted.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he was “deeply saddened” to learn about the “dastardly killing” of the veteran journalist. “Such an attempt to suppress the sane voices by terrorists will never succeed,” he said in a tweet.
‘Voice of sanity’
Frontline Editor R Vijaysankar said Bukhari’s shocking demise was a great loss to the world of journalism. “A voice of sanity from the conflict zone, he was a regular, enthusiastic contributor to the magazine,” Mr. Vijaysankar said.
In a statement, the Editors Guild of India condemned the assassination of Bukhari. “This is a grave attack on press freedom and democratic voices,” the Guild said. It called upon the Mehbooba government to take urgent steps to bring the culprits to book.
The Press Club of India in Delhi said Bukhari’s killing underlined the difficult circumstances in which journalists operated. “ Forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir Valley have silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace,” the Press Club said in a statement.
In the last hours before his death, Bukhari had tweeted about the United Nations report on human rights violations in Kashmir and India’s rejection of the contents of the report.