ShujaatBukhari: Who killed him?

Published at June 24, 2018 01:00 AM 0Comment(s)5652views

India and Pakistan have successfully drawn two extreme parallels in Kashmir and those who try to draw and walk a middle line to speak will be silenced


ShujaatBukhari: Who killed him?

Sameer Showkin Lone

sameershowkin@gmail.com

Two days ago, a friend of mine from Mumbai wanted me to write about ShujaatBukhari, for her magazine. She wanted me to write because I knew ShujaatSahabvery well, as a boss, as a mentor and above all as an elder brother.

As I started to write the piece for her magazine with trembling hands, a text message flashed on my cell phone. It was from one of my close friends, who is preparing for Civil Services. The message read: “Sameer Bhai… stop this journalism…the Civil Services Exam is approaching.”I smiled for some time and continued with the piece.

After I finished the write up, I started asking myself why was ShujaatSahabkilled and for what. The question everyone amongst the journalist fraternity and the common people ask. Why?

My third last conversation with ShujaatSahab was about the blog kashmirfight.wordpress.com. The blog has now become a centre of discussion after his killing.

ShujaatSahabtexted me and wanted to know what had happened at the 7Cs Fine Dine restaurant. The blog had reported some talks between JKLF’s Yasin Malik and PDP’s Waheed-u-Rehman Parra. He also told me to try to find out who was running this blog.

Since, I was also present at the 7Cs restaurant at that time around Iftaar. I told him that I was present at that time in the restaurant. There were no such (secret) talks as was reported by a Delhi based media organisation and kashmirfight.wordpress.comblog.

Later, I clarified in my Facebook post about the whole controversy to clear the clouds and speak the facts.

The nature of the work of a journalist is such that they can meet anyone. Anyone means everyone of different ideological divide. This is what their job demands without taking sides. And I count myself one among them.

Coming back to the question why ShujaatBukhari was killed. I have been attending almost every condolence meetings held in remembrance of Shujaat, since June 14 (Thursday) when he was silenced forever.

I have read tributes in the form of lengthy articles and write-ups by many of our colleagues and popular faces of journalism in and outside Kashmir.

But I could not find the answer of this very question- who killed him? Pakistan has condemned, so has India. The Kashmiri pro-India and pro-Pakistan and pro-independence groups have also condemned, so have the militant outfits.

Everyone has demanded probe“International probe”, to give more weight to the words in their press statements.

ShujaatBukhari was among a rare breed of journalists who would call spade-a-spade. He was someone who always wanted prosperity of Kashmiris. He wanted peaceful settlement of the issue so that this bloodshed would come to an end.

In Indian mainland, many would call him anti-national and pro-Jihadi for his crystal clear stand on Kashmir. Back in Kashmir some elements would troll him for his stand on Kashmir.

But there was no ambiguity in his speeches or write ups. He would do what he would speak on TV debates or write in his columns. “On the Record” in Rising Kashmir, the newspaper which he founded in 2008, used to be his popular column. 

In Shujaat’s death, Kashmiris have lost their well-wisher, a torch bearer, their international voice which was unadulterated and above they have lost a true friend-the friend of all seasons. 

In every conflict there are many agencies working, so are in Kashmir. You don’t know who the every second person is. A very small place, Kashmir is full with agencies both from Pakistan and India. We have been sandwiched between both the countries.

Both these countries are not well-wishers of Kashmiris. Neither India nor Pakistan are our welfare states, they are fighting a bloody murky territorial war in Kashmir.

And in between this, if you stand up and speak for Kashmiris you will meet the fate of ShujaatSahab.

We have been silenced. We are not able to speak. Both of them have left no scope for thinkers to think and debate on Kashmir. There is no free space. They have successfully drawn two extreme parallels in Kashmir and those who try to draw and walk a middle line to speak up for the poor Kashmiris will be silenced. That is why ShujaatSahabwas also killed brutally.

The fear is visible in our community. No one wants to talk, compulsions at their own place. If someone else would have been killed, Shujaat, as his friends know him, would have been the first person to come on the road and protest.

But sadly, only few, mostly youngsters have come forward to protest against the gruesome murder of a journalist of international fame, to demand a thorough probe.

The fear that has gripped us all will take us nowhere except that such killings would continue.

As Kashmiri top IAS officer, Shah Faesal says: “At Syed ShujaatBukhari's funeral today, I realised that life has come to a dead end in Kashmir. We are now nothing but a large crowd of numb mourners going from house to house and graveyard to graveyard, each one of us waiting for our turn to die.”

Yes, we are all waiting for our turns to die helplessly.

Rest in Peace Dr ShujaatBukhari!

 

Author is a Senior Reporter at Rising Kashmir. He reports on politics and administration.

 

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