On Thursday 14 June itself, the Editors Guild of India condemned the fatal attack on Srinagar-based journalist, Shujaat Bukhari, calling him a courageous professional who had mentored a number of young journalists in the Valley. Bukhari, who was editor of Rising Kashmir, was shot dead by unidentified men outside his office on the afternoon of 14 June 2018. Two police officers provided to him for security by the government were also killed in the attack.
The Guild issued a statement: “Bukhari was a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir.”
The Guild called upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to arrest and prosecute the culprits and take steps to ensure the safety and security of media personnel in the state. The statement further mentioned, “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.” It further asked the state and central government to improve security for all journalists in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the light of threats of violence against journalists across the country, the Guild called Bukhari’s murder a new low in a “rapidly deteriorating environment for media practitioners in Kashmir,” and in the country in general.
“The Guild calls upon the Centre to take note of the developments and take necessary steps to ensure a situation where the media can discharge its duties without any fear of violence,” the statement said.
This article is based on media inputs and has been slightly corrected on 19 June 2018 at 942am IST.