Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of Rising Kashmir, was murdered with 40 bullets piercing his body on 14 June 2018. The journalist was also the President of Adbee Markaz Kamraz, a cultural and literary organisation in Kashmir, was an active organiser of several Kashmir peace conferences and a part of the Track II diplomacy between India and Pakistan.
Bukhari hailed from Keeri village of Pattan area of northern Kashmir and was currently living on the outskirts of Srinagar. Hours before his death, Bukhari had posted the UN report on alleged human rights violations in the Valley.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called the murder “act of cowardice.” The Jammu and Kashmir police force is determined to find the real culprit behind it. He asked the State to re-think on its methods and urged the Kashmiri society to reflect on the growing violence in the Valley. In his last tweet, Shujaat said: “In Kashmir, we have done journalism with pride and will continue to highlight what happens on the ground.”
His son, Tamheed Shujaat Bukhari, in an interview, said, “Papa was a man of principles. I know that for sure. My dad was surrounded by thousands of haters but he never uttered a word of bitterness against any of them.”
Shujaat was a bold journalist who wrote what he felt and supported a midway to solve the Kashmir issue. He has received threats earlier as well, which made him increase his security, but two security guards were also killed with him. Blank editorial pages were printed by prominent newspapers of the Valley on the next day showing it as a silenced voice.
Shujaat is a victim of the cult of violence. His death carries with it the burden of all the human tragedies and ugly brutalities of a conflict.