Senior Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead, politicians, media condemn killing

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Editor Shujaat Bukhari had had several brushes with death during a two-and-a-half-decade-old journalistic career, enduring abductions, an attempt on his life and a brain haemorrhage.

Bukhari, a frequent contributor to the BBC News website, was attacked in his vehicle near the office of the Rising Kashmir newspaper, which he edited. "The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid", Mufti tweeted.

Such gruesome violence during the holy month of Ramzan and on the eve of Eid is a chilling reminder of the fact that Kashmir is one of the most risky places not just for the security forces but for peace crusaders and journalists too.

Amongst those who took part in the last rites of the journalist and visited his ancestral home to condole with the family were Opposition leader Omar Abdullah and Ministers from the PDP-BJP government. Two police officers provided to him by local authorities for his security were also killed in the evening attack, according to S.P. Vaid, the region's police chief. He was rushed to hospital where he succumbed, a police spokesperson said.

It was not immediately clear how many gunmen attacked Bukhari, who earlier worked with The Hindu newspaper as its Kashmir correspondent.

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the killing "cannot be condemned enough", and praised Bukhari for "carrying out his professional responsibilities with courage and conviction".

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In India, moon was not sighted and the committee announced that the countrywide Eid celebrations will commence on Saturday. In Delhi, the announcement on the celebration of Eid was made by Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari .

The front page of Rising Kashmir, a day after Bukhari's murder.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said Bukhari died in the line of duty.

A known literary and cultural activist, Bukhari served as the president of Adabi Markaz Kamraz, a literary forum that works for the promotion of Kashmiri language. Demand the Centre to take swift action to nab the killers. "The intermittent killings and attacks have been adding to the crisis in which the media was barely surviving", said the KEG.

The Editors Guild of India condemned the "dastardly attack" on Bukhari, calling it a "new low". She also conveyed her heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family particularly his parents, wife and two kids. Later, he established his own English daily Rising Kashmir.

But on Thursday, when people in the Kashmir Valley looked forward to the sighting of Eid's crescent, terrorists shot Bukhari dead, leaving him in a pool of blood, his body ridden with bullets.