Newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday left the space for editorials blank in protest the assassination of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari outside his office in Srinagar on June 14.

This came a day after journalists in Srinagar organised a silent march to protest the murder. They marched from Press Enclave, where the editor was killed, to Lal Chowk in the heart of the city before circling back. Rashid Maqbool, editor of Rising Kashmir’s sister publication Kashmir Parcham, an Urdu daily, called the assassination an attack on journalism and the freedom of speech.

Rising Kashmir, the newspaper that Bukhari edited.
Rising Kashmir, the newspaper that Bukhari edited.

The Rising Kashmir editor had just emerged from his office and got into a car on the evening of June 14 when unknown assailants on a motorcycle shot him and his two security guards. Bukhari and one guard died instantly, while the other officer succumbed later that evening.

The day after the murder, the police took into custody a suspect who was allegedly seen in a photo standing at the scene of the crime, attempting to retrieve a pistol. They also released CCTV footage of three suspects who were seen escaping on a motorcycle.

Greater Kashmir
Greater Kashmir

While separatist leaders have condemned the journalist’s killing, militant outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen have blamed India and demanded an independent investigation into the murder. The Lashkar-e-Taiba blamed Indian agencies’ “enmity” towards every individual who is “loyal to the freedom movement”.

Kashmir Times
Kashmir Times
Kashmir Reader
Kashmir Reader