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Shujaat Bukhari, a brave and outspoken voice of Kashmir Valley

ANI  |  Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India] 

Hours before he was gunned down in cold blood in Srinagar, noted defended his reporting in a Tweet.

"In #we have done Journalism with pride and will continue to highlight what happens on ground," wrote Bukhari.

He was the of Srinagar-based newspaper, Rising Kashmir, and was known as a brave and outspoken voice for justice and equality.

Just minutes before Iftaar- the breaking of fast in the Islamic holy month of Ramzan- terrorists sprayed bullets on Bukhari, outside his Press Colony residence in Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital.

In the past, he survived three assassination attempts and had been under police protection since 2000.

But on Thursday, when people in the 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.

Rajesh Mahapatra, Editor-At-Large with said, "Heartbreaking the loss of Shujaat Bukhari, an incredibly brave & an invaluable voice of middle-ground moderation. This is a loss for all Kashmiri's, and the entire journalistic community."

He had several feathers in his cap.

He worked with newspaper and was its in for several years.

He was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in

He was also the of Adbee Markaz Kamraz, the biggest and oldest cultural and literary organisation of the Valley.

Veteran journalist, Shekhar Gupta, defined Bukhari as an "influential voice of reason" in Kashmir.

Preliminary investigation by the indicates that Bukhari's brutal killing was a terror attack.

It has come at a time when the government recently hinted that it may not extend the cessation of anti-terror operations, which it had announced on May 16, in the Valley.

"Ramzan is the holy month for Muslims so the had decided to announce suspension of operations during this period as a goodwill gesture. We also wanted that the same be reciprocated but there was no change in the actions of separatists and terrorists," told ANI on Wednesday.

termed the killing of the as an "act of cowardice."

Shortly after the incident, the in his Tweet said, ""The killing of @RisingKashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless "

The incident has also brought to light how journalists in the are often the soft target of militants.

Speaking to ANI, Iftikhar Gilani, a senior and a friend of Bukhari, said, "I had a conversation with him just 20 minutes before the incident. It's really shocking. This is the situation of journalists in Kashmir."

Expressing grief over the killing, said, "government should investigate the attack. All anti-forces are attacking journalist. Journalist community should come together to condemn the incident.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 23:02 IST