Shujaat Bukhari murder: Srinagar police release CCTV photos of three suspects

Shujaat Bukhari

Shujaat Bukhari

Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari has been shot dead by unknown assailants in Press Colony in Srinagar city.

Expressing his condolences, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "I'm anguished to hear about the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, editor of @RisingKashmir".

Fifty-three-year-old Bukhari, who had worked as the state correspondent for national daily "The Hindu" for several years, was shot dead soon after he boarded his auto from his office located at Press Enclave in the heart of the city centre - Lal Chowk.

Bukhari is the fourth journalist to be killed by militants in the almost three-decade-long violence in Kashmir.

"Along with Shujaat, his security chap was also killed and another lies injured in hospital".

Hours later, the police released two photos of the suspects sourced from CCTV footage and requested the public to help identify them.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who had rushed to the police hospital where Mr Bukhari's body was brought to console his grief-stricken family, described the killing as "highly barbaric, deplorable and condemnable".

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Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said Bukhari died in the line of duty. Later, he established his own English daily Rising Kashmir. Terrorism, she said, has hit a new low with Bukhari's killing, "that too on the eve of Eid". He was a courageous and fearless journalist. A year ago too, no prisoners were released ahead of Eid.

Bukhari's killing sparked an outpouring of grief from prominent politicians and journalists alike - in India, Pakistan and in his home of Kashmir, the Muslim majority region divided between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. The attack took place place reportedly on Thursday evening.

The Hurriyat leadership in Kashmir has also condemned the act.

Thousands of people poured in on Friday to pay tributes to Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of Rising Kashmir who was assassinated by militants on Friday.

I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore tweeted that the killing was a "brutal attack on freedom of press".

According to Police sources, Shujaat Bukhari was on the radar of terror outfits and was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000. His killing, and that of an Army jawan, came just two days before the Centre's "unilateral ceasefire" against militants is scheduled to end amid extensive debate on whether it should be extended.

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