Late Dr Shujaat Bukhari: 25 February 1968 to 14 June 2018

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Patriot Monitoring Desk

SRINAGAR: Shujaat Bukhari, the editor-in-chief of Rising Kashmir born on 25 February 1968 was shot dead on 14 June 2018 outside his office in Srinagar’s Press Enclave by unknown assailants around 7 pm (Near to Iftar Time) in the Month of Ramadhan a day before Eid-Ul-Fitr.

He was a Srinagar-based journalist who had previously survived three assassination attempts during his career following which he was given security cover in year 2000. However both of his SPO’s were also  killed during the assassination of Shujaat.  He had also been the Bureau Chief of The Hindu for 15 years. Between 1997 and 2012 he was a correspondent for ‘The Hindu’ in Srinagar.

Shujaat Bukhari standing tall at The Newseum in Washington DC where names of journalists killed all over the world are written .

He was a writer in English, Kashmiri and Urdu. He was also writing for the Frontline till recently. His skills had been initially honed by the veteran journalist Ved Bhasin when he was working Kashmir Times.

He founded the English daily Rising Kashmir and the sister publications, Bulund Kashmir (in Urdu), Sangarmal (in Kashmiri) and Kashmir Parcham (Urdu Weekly).

Shujaat started his career in journalism with Jammu-based English newspaper Kashmir Times in 1996. Later he joined the national newspaper, The Hindu and quit the paper after launching his own English newspaper Rising Kashmir in 10, March 2008.

He completed his Masters in Journalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Manila as a fellow of Asian Centre for Journalism, Singapore. Quite a bright one, he received the World Press Institute (WPI) USA fellowship, Asian Centre for Journalism Singapore fellowship. He was a permanent fellow at both institutions. Bukhari has also been a fellow at East West Centre in Hawaii, USA.

Dead body of Shujaat Bukhari inside his car lying in pool of blood outside his office at Srinagar’s Press Enclave after assassination carried out by unknown assailants on 14 June, 2018.

He is the brother of PDP MLA and Minister Syed Basharat Bukhari. Shujaat is survived by elderly parents, wife, daughter (9th grade) and son (10 grade). Bukhari was born in Keeri area of Baramulla in Sayeed family. His father is a retired professor in literature.

The extensively traveled journalist Bukhari was also the president of Adbee Markaz Kamraz Kamraaz (literary forum of North Kashmir), the biggest and oldest cultural and literary organization of the Valley working for the rejuvenation of the Kashmiri language and culture. Less known is the fact that Shujaat Bukhari, with a doctorate, was a literary and cultural activist.

The advocacy of the cultural group Adbee Markaz Kamraz, which Bukhari headed, succeeded in introducing the Kashmiri language back in schools in 2008, after a gap of over three decades.

He was a linguistic nationalist, and his much-awaited dream to see Kashmiri taught up to Class 10 was realised in June 2017, despite opposition from many quarters. His efforts to publish books in Kashmiri despite dearth of funds and promote local writers went a long way in helping the survival of a language on the verge of extinction.

During the 2014 floods, Bukhari rescued people from marooned houses by rowing inflatable boats himself and supplied essentials to the needy; he was proud that he was able to shift several Hindu families to safe locations.

Funeral procession of Shujaat Bukhari taken towards his ancestral graveyard at his hometown Kreeri in District Baramulla on 15 June 2018.

Bukhari played a key role in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan. Working actively on the Track II circuit and closely with the London-based Conciliation Resources that brought interlocutors from India, Pakistan and both sides of the Line of Control to Dubai, Istanbul and other locations away from the din of the subcontinent.

Shujaat was an advocate of peace and favoured peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. He was a regular speaker about the Kashmir conflict and politics at international conferences, National and International television news channels.

Shujaar Bukhari was laid to rest in the ancestral graveyard at his hometown Kreeri in District Baramulla around 11 a.m on 15 June 2018.