SRINAGAR: In an audacious attack that has left the media industry shaken, senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unknown attackers in Srinagar on Thursday evening. Bukhari, the editor of the 'Rising Kashmir' newspaper, was attacked when he had stepped out of his office in Press Colony in the city. Multiple bullets hit him at close range. A security guard on his protection detail was also shot dead while another was injured.
This is the first attack on a journalist in a long time in Kashmir and provoked widespread shock and condemnation.
Shujaat Bukhari was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000. He was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed their shock on Twitter.
The attack took place hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a security review meeting for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage that starts later this month.
Sources say Rajnath Singh's peace initiative in Kashmir, a ceasefire, may not extend beyond Ramzan, which is expected to end with Eid on Friday.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval indicated that the offer was only for Eid.
The ceasefire was seen to trigger a spurt in terror activities. Data collected by the home ministry indicates that terror-related incidents in the Kashmir valley have increased by more than 100 percent during Ramzan.