Daybreak : Shujaat Bukhari shot dead & Other Stories You May Have Missed

Jun 15, 03:25 AM

In case you missed it

It’s a tragic day.

On Thursday evening, veteran journalist and Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead outside the newspaper's office in the heart of Srinagar by bike-borne gunmen. Two personal security officers assigned to him by Jammu and Kashmir police were also killed whereas a civilian was injured in the attack, police said. 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. In a statement, police said that preliminary investigation indicates that this was a terror attack. "Police is investigating the case and condemns this gruesome terror act," the statement said. Bukhari was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan.

“Survival is the first challenge for any journalism venture in Kashmir” Bukhari wrote three months ago in an editorial to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his newspaper, Rising Kashmir. Known for his balanced editorials, Bukhari frequently wrote on the Kashmir issue. In one of his recent columns for Rising Kashmir, Bukhari had written about the Ramzan Ceasefire and how it was a positive step in normalizing the situation in Kashmir. Bukhari had written: “Despite the scepticism from various quarters and even outright rejection, the announcement came as a glimmer of hope for the common people who have been suffering due to the continuous grind of violence. Death of both the militants who have joined the ranks in past few years and the civilians who become the collateral damage has become unbearable.” Another of Bukhari’s recent column in the newspaper Rising Kashmir which he edited, talked extensively about the need of revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) from the valley. Bukhari’s last column for Rising Kashmir was on fake news, which he called a “multifarious challenge that had come mostly with fast changing technology.”

Condemning the attack, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said it was an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He said he did not have an iota of doubt that terrorists killed Bukhari. Jammu and Kashmir police, in a statement, also said that preliminary probe pointed to the role of terrorists.

Meanwhile, the dead body of the soldier who was abducted by militants from Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district was found in Pulwama. The soldier, identified as Aurangzeb of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), was travelling to Rajouri district when the militants stopped his vehicle in Kalampora area and kidnapped him. The abduction comes on a day when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed the extension or calling off of the Ramadan ceasefire that is set to end on Friday.

In other news, protests erupted in the national capital against the central government’s plan to introduce direct ‘Lateral Entry’ at the Joint Secretary level for ten ministries as demonstrators said it would "render the UPSC as a helpless body" and "rupture the reservation process". Shouting slogans that they would not allow the Indian Administrative to turn into the ‘Indian Ashirvad Service’, Rozgar Mange India, an ad hoc group of government employees and activists, held a protest march in Delhi.

In a first of its kind report, the United Nations Human Rights Office has called for a probe into alleged human rights violations in Kashmir by both India and Pakistan. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that it was not given full access to the area for a detailed investigation. India, in its response, said that the report violates its sovereignty and creates a false narrative. “The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity…The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable,” the MEA statement said.

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