Jammu and Kashmir’s leading English newspaper ‘Rising Kashmir’ on Friday paid tribute to its editor-in-chief Shujaat Bukhari who was shot dead by some bike-borne terrorists outside his office at the Press Colony on Thursday evening.
Rising Kashmir’s latest edition hit the stands on Friday morning with its front page carrying the full-length photograph of its late editor-in-chief in black background.
The page also carried the message that the paper ”would not be cowed down.”
”You left all too sudden but you will always be our leading light with your professional conviction and exemplary courage. We won’t be cowed down by the cowards who snatched you from us. We will uphold your principle of telling the truth howsoever unpleasant it may be…Rest in peace!” the newspaper said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said publishing the daily despite Bukhari’s killing would be the most fitting tribute to him as it was what the late journalist would have wanted to.
”The show must go on. As Shujaat would have wanted it to. This is today’s @RisingKashmir issue. That Shujaat’s colleagues were able to bring out the paper in the face of insurmountable grief is a testament to their professionalism & the most fitting tribute to their late boss,” Omar wrote on Twitter while sharing a picture of the front page of the paper
Abdullah had visited the residence of late ‘Rising Kashmir’ editor and met his family members late on Thursday.
Bukhari’s cold-blooded killing on Thursday evoked widespread condemnations in Jammu and Kashmir and from across the country.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra conveyed shock and grief on the gruesome killing of Bukhari. Recalling Bukhari’s standing as a veteran journalist, the Governor described his murder as a big loss to the media fraternity.
In his message, Vohra prayed for peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss. The Governor also called Bukhari’s brother and Cabinet Minister Basharat Ahmed Bukhari to convey his heartfelt sympathy.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also strongly condemned the killing of the veteran journalist. In a condolence message, the Chief Minister described the killing of Bukhari as ”highly barbaric, deplorable and condemnable.”
”His killing has only established that violence cannot stand the scrutiny of logic and rationality. The whole state stands in unanimity in condemning this inhuman act of savagery,” Mehbooba said in the statement.
She said the role and contribution rendered by Bukhari in the institutionalisation of the media here has become part of the journalistic history of the state.
”One would always see him raising issues of common cause concerning people. He would often fight for the issues of people through his columns and various discussions but alas this voice of people stands silenced today brutally,” Mehbooba said.
The Chief Minister visited the hospital where Bukhari was taken after the attack and paid her respects to the departed soul. She also conveyed her heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family particularly his parents, wife and two kids.
The separatists have also condemned his killing terming it ”barbaric and unpardonable”.
Bukhari will be laid to rest in his ancestral village in Kreeri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district today. His funeral prayers will be held at 11 am.
Bukhari is the fourth journalist to be killed by terrorists in the nearly three-decade-long violence in Kashmir. In 1991, the editor of ‘Alsafa’, Mohammed Shaban Vakil, was killed by militants of Hizbul Mujahideen.
Former BBC correspondent Yussuf Jameel escaped with injuries when a bomb exploded in his office in 1995, but ANI cameramen Mushtaq Ali lost his life in the incident.
Later, on January 31, 2003, Parvaz Mohammed Sultan, editor of NAFA, was shot dead by Hizbul Mujahideen at his Press Enclave office.