Lahore - Shujaat Bukhari, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the heart of Srinagar yesterday, was a senior journalist and editor of English language daily Rising Kashmir.

Politically, he was deemed as a moderate who loved peace and dedicated his life to get Kashmir rid of violence.

Bukhari’s profile on Risingkashmir.com says he worked as Bureau Chief of Kashmir for 15 years.

“An extensively travelled journalist Bukhari is a writer in Kashmiri and Urdu and is also the president of Adbee Markaz Kamraz, the biggest and oldest cultural and literary organisation of Valley,” it says.

The veteran journalist previously worked with The Hindu newspaper as its Kashmir correspondent and was a frequent contributor to the BBC News website.

According to reports, Bukhari had done Masters in Journalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Manila as a fellow of Asian Centre for Journalism, Singapore.

He was a recipient of World Press Institute (WPI) USA fellowship and Asian Centre for Journalism Singapore fellowship.

Shujaat Bukhari was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000. He was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir valley and mentored several young journalists.

He was also part of the Track II process between India and Pakistan to find peaceful solution to their bilateral issues – Kashmir being the key of those.

Past attacks on Bukhari

A report in freepresskashmir.com mentioned that on July 8, 1996, Indian government-backed militant group Ikhwan abducted 19 local journalists in Anantnag district and held them as hostages for at least seven hours. Bukhari was among those abducted.

Reporters Without Borders, an international NGO that promotes freedom of press, had once told ifex.org that in 2006, as Bukhari left his office (then The Indian Express) in Srinagar, he was abducted by two men who drove him several kilometres away from the city.

However, when one of them tried to shoot the journalist, the gun jammed and Bukhari managed to escape.

Bukhari later told Reporters Without Borders that the instigators and perpetrators of this kind of attack are rarely caught in Kashmir. “It is virtually impossible to know who are our enemies and who are our friends,” he had said.