Journalist Shujaat Bukhari murdered in gruesome attack at Press Enclave; 2 PSOs also killed
Srinagar, Jun 14: Dr Syed Shujaat Bukhari, a prominent senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Daily Rising Kashmir, was killed on Thursday evening in a gruesome attack by unidentified gunmen outside his office at the Press Enclave here.
Forty minutes to the penultimate Iftar of 2018 Ramadan, sounds of, at least, ten gunshots reverberated in the media hub.
The journalists rushed out of their offices only to find Shujaat, his Personal Security Official (PSO), and his driver lying in a pool of blood in his bullet-ridden SUV just outside Shujaat’s office.
Eyewitnesses said at least two persons armed with AK47 rifles fired indiscriminately at the vehicle, critically wounding the three men.
Shujaat, who was sitting in the middle seat, received multiple bullets, and his PSO, in the front, had been shot in his face.
The driver, also a policeman, also was critically injured.
The attackers appeared to have emptied their magazines over the victims before escaping.
For the next about 10 minutes, the vehicle remained stranded, as no one could muster courage to go near the victims.
Shujaat’s was lying face down on the seat, blood all around him. A young journalist touched his body, but couldn’t detect the pulse.
The jaw of the dead PSO sitting next to the driver was literally dangling. He had exit wounds on his neck. He died at the spot.
The driver, however, was still breathing, whispering something. His eyes were about to shut.
A hoax cry about the attackers still being there sent everyone running away from the vehicle, until they rushed back a few seconds later.
Chaos and fear was visible on the scribes’ faces, while a few photojournalists clicked pictures of the scene.
No one, however, was willing to drive out the dying driver or the other two to the hospital.
They were eventually carried into the police vehicle that arrived at the scene.
Rushing in, the police fired a bullet in the air to disperse the crowd, and a cop subsequently drove the damaged SUV to the hospital where Shujaat was declared brought dead.
The driver too succumbed soon after.
Shujaat’s body was handed over to his family at Kreeri, Baramulla, for the last rites.
A police spokesperson later issued the following statement: “It is learnt that some militants this evening fired upon senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the daily Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari at Press Enclave Lal Chowk. While Shujaat Bukhari was traveling in a car near Press enclave he was fired upon indiscriminately which resulted in the instant death of Bukhari and a PSO who was with him. The other injured PSO who was shifted to the hospital in critical condition has succumbed to his injury.”
The spokesperson said that “preliminary investigations indicate it was a militant attack”.