Kashmir journalist fraternity on Monday staged a peaceful march in Press Enclave Srinagar to denounce the cold-blooded murder of senior Journalist and editor in chief Rising Kashmir Syed Shujaat Bukhari.
Shujaat was brutally murdered along with his two police guards at Srinagar’s Press Colony last Friday.
His assassination has sent a shockwave across Kashmir with condemnation pouring in from India, Pakistan and around the world.
The march started from Press Enclave to Gantha Ghar Lalchowk Srinagar and was attended by a large number of journalists from the local media, including the staff of Rising Kashmir and its sister publications. Correspondents of national news channels, newspapers and magazines also participated.
Many of the protestors held up printouts of the Rising Kashmir’s front page from the day after Bukhari’s assassination. Some had taped pieces of paper over their mouths in a symbolic protest against the attempt to silence journalists.
The protesting journalists seek punishment to the killers and safety and security for the journalists.
The participants said that the mission of Shujhat Bukhari will be carry forwarded and they won’t succumb to pressure exerted by elements from unknown quarters.
Rashid Maqbool, the editor of Rising Kashmir’s sister publication Kashmir Parcham, an Urdu daily, called Bukhari’s killing an attack on journalism and the freedom of speech. “We have taken to the street in this silent protest to send a message: that no matter what happens and even if atrocities become unbearable, we will not let the lamp of the freedom of speech go out,” he said.
Maqbool added that the press in Kashmir has seen, and withstood, several difficulties over the years. “We have survived through these difficulties and the environment of fear before,” he said. “If it comes up again, we will not back out from doing our professional duty. No matter what the difficulties, no power can stop us from doing our duty.”