Who was Shujaat Bukhari (1968 – 2018)
Shujaat Bukhari’s journalistic career spans three decades during which he grew from being a cub reporter at the Srinagar bureau of the Jammu-based Kashmir Times to special correspondent for India’s respected newspaper The Hindu from 1997 to 2012.
Bukhari, 50, would write commentaries in various national and foreign news outlets including the BBC. He was representing Germany’s Radio Dutsche Welle for many years during 2000s.
Shuja’at launched his own English language daily Rising Kashmir in 2008 and was the fulltime editor the newspaper for past many years. While editing Rising Kashmir he launched an Urdu daily Buland Kashmir and an Urdu weekly Kashmir Parcham.
Shuja’at comes from a respected family of Kreeri, Baramulla where his father, a retired teacher, was widely respected. Shuja’at was also a language activist and had campaigned for long to revive Kashmiri language. He served a term as president at Adbi Markaz Kamraz, a literary organization comprising poets and playwrights of Kashmiri language.
Shuja’at has launched the first-ever color offset broadsheet in Kashmiri language. The Kashmiri weekly Sangarmal would serve as a platform for poets and writers who would express themselves in Kashmiri language.
Bukhari did his Masters in Journalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Manila as a fellow of the Asian Centre for Journalism, Singapore.
He was a recipient of the World Press Institute (WPI) USA fellowship and Asian Centre for Journalism Singapore fellowship.
Bukhari was also a fellow at East West Centre at Hawaii, USA. Shujaat had survived three assassination attempts in the past and had been under police protection since 2006, following an assassination bid on him.
His newspaper Rising Kashmir along with many others was blacklisted for adverts from the central DAVP.
Bukhari described the threat to Kashmiri journalists in a 2016 article for BBC News. “Threats to life, intimidation, assault, arrest and censorship have been part of the life of a typical local journalist,” he wrote.
Shuja’at was an avid social media user. He was very active on social media and twitter, often kicking up spars with various persons over certain issues.
Shuja’at’s last tweet quoted the UNHRC’s first-ever report on Kashmir situation. Prominent personalities from Kashmir and outside have expressed shock over his killing saying that he died in the line of duty.