The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued notices to the Jammu and Kashmir government’s chief secretary and Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid, in connection with the murder of Rising Kashmir journalist Shujaat Bukhari.
The commission said it had taken suo moto cognisance of a media report that the South Asian Media Defenders Network, a network of editors, had urged it to institute a swift investigation into the incident. “Reportedly, Samden has also demanded action by the central and the state governments to ensure safety and security of all the journalists across the country,” the panel said.
The commission added that though it usually does not intervene in matters related to Jammu and Kashmir, the State Human Rights Commission is closed for summer vacations till June 30, and has not yet taken cognisance of the incident.
“The way Bukhari has been killed indicates that media persons, even those who have been provided police protection by the state, are not safe in the Valley,” the panel said. “This is a case of violation of the victim’s Right to Life, and the incident has led to a serious threat to free speech and freedom of press in the state.”
The panel asked the government to submit information about other attacks on media persons during the last two years, in addition to details about the number of persons who died or were injured in such attacks. The commission also asked for information on the relief or rehabilitation given to the victims and their families.