SRINAGAR, INDIAN-ADMINISTERD KASHMIR — Shujaat Bukhari, a prominent journalist and the editor of a leading newspaper, was shot and killed here on June 14 along with his security guard.
The area of the murders, Lal Chowk, is heavily guarded. But somehow, the killer or killers managed to escape.
There have been no arrests in the case.
Bukhari had survived three other assassination attempts and had been provided with security by the state government. His death highlights the growing danger for Kashmiri journalists covering their communities during this volatile time. (See my last column about the frequent internet shutdowns in response to violence and protests.)
Since 1992, 27 journalists have been killed in India, and 19 of them were killed in Jammu and Kashmir, a semi-autonomous state administered by the government of India.
In response to Bukhari’s murder, India’s minister of information and broadcasting tweeted: “Assassination of #ShujaatBukhari is a brutal attack on freedom of press. A cowardly and deplorable act of terror. Our fearless media is one of the greatest strength of our democracy and we are committed to provide a safe and conducive working environment to media persons.”
Regardless of the increasing threat of violence, the brave network of local journalists, who operate with the cover and security that foreign correspondents have, will continue their work, aware of the targets on their backs.