Rising Kashmir’s founding editor Syed Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead along with two of his Personal Security Officers, Mumtaz Awaan and Abdul Hamid, on Thursday (June 14) in the hub of the city and Lal Chowk’s Press Enclave. The cold blooded murder was carried out in broad daylight just two days ahead of the most celebrated state festival, Eid-ul-Fitr. The brutal murder of veteran journalist thrust thousands of people from all walks of life to a state of shock and despair. The unprecedented killing has been widely condemned and condemnations continue to pour even after the last rites were performed. Despite chaos ruling the journalism circles in the past few days, the message and its apt response have not gone unheeded. The message that can be construed from the barbaric incident is that of an extreme form of intolerance. The perpetrators wanted to display their writ through the barrel of the gun. It has been responded in the manner that befits the fraternity, journalism and humanity – through words printed and enunciated, in columns, in obituaries, in press releases and media bites – the message that there can be attempts made to muzzle the voice but the voice itself cannot be killed. The voice that denounced violence and sabre rattling and batted for reason and dialogue was silenced by the gun. The manner in which the brutal killing was carried in the hub of the city also exposed serious security lapses. The gunmen are still at large despite the claims made by the local police that the manhunt is underway. It belies the logic as how the assailants were able to murder the scribe when there is a strong presence of police and security forces in every nook and corner of the city. The nearest police station, Kothi Bagh Police Station, is at stone’s throw and it takes only five minutes on foot to reach the spot from the station. The police personnel on the day reached after more than fifteen minutes, as was revealed by the eyewitnesses. With the murder being condemned by all – mainstream politicians, separatists and also the militant groups – the question that has left people agitated is who killed Syed Shujaat Bukhari. So far the police work and preliminary investigation have not brought any respite to the apprehensions caused by the gruesome murder. One can gauge the magnitude of fear from the fact that it occurred in city cente, the security on outskirts or in areas away from the city need no description. June 14 has been a black day for the world of journalism, for Shujaat Bukhari’s voice reached and touched millions of people across the world.