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The latest horrendous episode of Kashmir saga is the dastardly assassination of Shujaat Bukhari who had risen as the epitome of the finest qualities every Kashmiri will be vying for ages to come. His killing marks a paradigm shift in the very political nature of Kashmir conflict which has altogether shocked each and every sane person of Kashmir, in the subcontinent and beyond. This brave and brilliant son of Kashmir is the latest victim of the varying contestations the festering wound called Kashmir conflict is engulfed in. A tall and versatile voice silenced in an open act of terrorism is not without a proper context in the rising rightwing ultra nationalist weaves of recent years wherein the independence of press and media has been dangerously challenged, muzzled and silenced. His gruesome killing is also a direct attack on the vibrant press of Kashmir which has emerged as the only authentic window of the ground realities to the world.

Shujaat Bukhari’s quintessential outlook as reflected in his columns, presentations, reports etc. was deeply rooted in the very political nature of Kashmir conflict at the times when guns have been roaring from every side, the political atmosphere is deadly polluted as never before resulting all-out killing,blood-letting, property destruction worth billions, economic losses and finally the continued dangerous impacts on the ordinary people of Kashmir and of South Asia. His unique way of analyzing the Kashmir affairs was the direct result of his association with the grass root people who suffer with every trigger. Shujaat’s weekly “On The Record” was in-fact the true pulse of Kashmir the people of the helm couldn’t easily pass off without perils attached. Under his editorship the Rising Kashmirand other sister publications were marked as the promising opinion making platforms grounded in the veins of Kashmir. His fitting coverage of the previous uprisings and human rights violations coupled with his vibrancy on the social media earned him thousands of overt and covert enemies. He became a potential threat to the policies of the coward armchair bosses of the entire Soth Asia who don’t want any solution be arrived at to end this human consuming conflict of Kashmir. Shujaat Bukhari is the martyr journalist who has given his life to a definite cause when he could have easily chosen a luxurious life outside Kashmir. We don’t expect any justice in this broad day light killing as reveals the case history of almost thousands other innocent souls sleeping under soil without any trace of justice. Life, regardless of the merit and professional background, is the cheapest most commodity in Kashmir trampled, neutralized and destroyed whenever the enemies of humanity wish so. The only justice which we ourselves can do at our individual levels is to continue his mission of fighting for peace and reconciliation amid life consuming conflict.

My association with Shujaa tBukhari goes even before the prestigious Rising Kashmir was launched as an alternative platform for the budding journalists and writers. He would always welcome my opinion pieces with proper professional acknowledgements. Would always listen patiently despite his tight schedule and other professional demands.For us ordinary people, his help was just a click/text/tweet away at an age of extreme greed and ego. I didn’t know my long expected first and last meeting with Shujaat sir would have such a heartbreaking fate in store when I saw him martyred in his room at Kreeri, Baramulla. His killing has broken us all to the core of our hearts.A noble soul like him is impossible to rise again. Kashmir will always miss him. Rest in peace sir!


Mohammad Yousuf Najar
Budgam Kashmir
email: Yousufnajar14@gmail.com

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