International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar, and Kashmir Centre for social and Development Studies (KCSDS ) Friday expressed shock and regret over the assassination of founding editor of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari.
KCSDS said it is shocked over the killing of Bukhari.
Carried in broad daylight, in a high security zone and coinciding with the indictment of India by UN human rights council for gross human rights violations in Kashmir, the assassination raises many questions.
“Shujaat’s assassination is a tremendous set back to the cause of freedom of expression. His death adds to a long list of journalists killed and maimed in Kashmir over a period of time,” KCSDS said, adding, “A striking similarity is in the place of killing where Shujaat was gunned down. Nearly twenty three years ago, Agence France-Presse and Asian News International photographer, Mushtaq Ali was killed at the same spot and the place named after him.”
J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar, in its statement expressed grief and sorrow over the killing of Shujaat Bukhari.
“While expressing solidarity with the members of the bereaved family, the Bar Association prays to Almighty Allah to give them courage and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” Bar statement said.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and the National Union of Journalists, India (NUJI) while strongly deploring the killing of Shujaat Bukhari demanded urgent action from the authorities to arrest and punish his killers.
The IJU President SN Sinha said: “By killing Shujaat Bhukari the gunmen sought to silence the voice of sanity and reason in the volatile state where the media and the working journalists were under tremendous stress sandwiched between the militants and the security forces. Shujaat Bhukari is a martyr in the cause of freedom of the press and expression. He was a journalist of integrity and stood by the people of Jammu and Kashmir with his fearless and ethical journalism. He paid with his life for truth and acting as the voice of the people of the state. In his death the IJU lost a friend. We extend our condolences to the bereaved family. We assure the journalists fraternity in Jammu and Kashmir that we will stand by them in the hour of their grief.”
The NUJI in a statement said: “The security of journalists in the Jammu & Kashmir is a matter of concern. It is an attempt to stall fearless coverage of anti-national and anti-people activities. NUJ(I) strongly criticize this barbaric act and demand the State governments to nab the culprits at the earliest. We also demand to look into the security of the media persons, while covering different events in the state. The NUJ(I) condemned the killing of journalist and termed it as failure of the administration to grant protection to the media persons and demand adequate compensation to the murdered journalist.”
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellangar said: “The brutal targeted killing of prominent editor Shujaat Bukhari in Kashmir is a horrendous crime; and shows why India, despite being the biggest democracy in the world, is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. India is yet to make substantial arrest in the 2017 murder of editor Gauri Lankesh, and the impunity in journalist killings is a matter of shame for India’s democracy. The IFJ urges urgent action from the authorities to arrest and punish the killers of Bukhari and other journalists; and introduce concrete action to ensure safety and security of journalists under threat.”