Srinagar: English newspaper 'Rising Kashmir' published its daily edition on Friday even after losing its editor-in-chief Shujaat Bukhari on Thursday in an assassination which also left two of his two personal security officers (PSOs) dead.
The last rites of the 52-year-old editor-in-chief were held on Friday morning. There was a steady stream of mourners visiting the senior journalist's home since the attack on Thursday evening. Bukhari will be laid to rest in his ancestral village in Kreeri in north Kashmir's Baramulla district today.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also visited Bukhari's residence to offer his condolences to the grieving family.
Bukhari is survived by his wife and one son and a daughter. He is the fourth journalist to be killed by militants in the nearly three-decade-long violence in Kashmir
Bukhari and his two PSOs were shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside Rising Kashmir office in Press Enclave near the city centre Lal Chowk here in Srinagar shortly before the 'Iftaar' on Thursday evening.
Rising Kashmir hit the stands this morning with its front page carrying the full-page 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 paper said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said publishing the daily despite Bukhari's killing is 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.
Bukhari's killing has evoked widespread condemnations in Jammu and Kashmir and from across the country.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has 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.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has 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.
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.