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Veteran Indian journalist shot dead in Kashmir

Shujaat Bukhari, a career journalist from India and editor in chief of Kashmir-based newspaper Rising Kashmirwas shot dead (The Indian Express) on Thursday by unknown gunmen in Srinagar. Bukhari was leaving his office to attend an iftar party when he was attacked.  

The attack took place at the Press Enclave in the city center Lal Chowk in Srinagar. Bukhari and his personal security officer were killed in the attack (Press Trust India). A policeman and a bystander were also injured.

Bukhari, who had in the past been the target of at least two kidnapping attempts, was attacked by vigilantes (Zee News) in 2000, after which he was provided police protection by the Indian government. The Indian Express reported Bukhari was “gunned down by militants.”

Among other highlights in a distinguished career, Bukhari was a recipient of World Press Institute (WPI) USA fellowship and Asian Centre for Journalism Singapore fellowship.

The attack was condemned (India Today) by various journalists and political leaders, from the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir to the Home Minister of India and the President of the Indian National Congress. Following the attack on Bukhari, the Editors Guild of India shared a statement on Facebook saying:

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.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 47 journalists have been killed in India in between 1992 and 2018.

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