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  India   Politics  19 Jun 2018  Bukhari knew he might be harmed: Scribe

Bukhari knew he might be harmed: Scribe

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 19, 2018, 1:50 am IST
Updated : Jun 19, 2018, 1:50 am IST

The Centre Special Representative for J&K Dineshwar Sharma also visited the family of Bukhari to offer his condolences.

Shujaat Bukhari
 Shujaat Bukhari

Shrinagar: Kashmiri journalist Syed Shujaat Bukhari had felt a surge of apprehensions that he might be harmed physically. His angst was only strengthened after he attended a Track II conference on Kashmir held in Dubai last year as it came under severe criticism including by two frontline militant outfits.

Claiming this, a Pakistani journalist of Kashmiri origin and Bukhari’s old friend Ershad Mahmud has said that after the Dubai conference attended by politicians and other activists from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) a campaign of vilification started across the State. He has said that Hizb-ul-Mujahideen “supreme commander” Syed Salahuddin “without seeking to know the truth termed the participants of the Dubai conference as ‘paid agents of India’.”

In an article appearing in a Pakistani portal and also placed on his Facebook timeline, Mr Mahmud has also said that, a day after the Hizb chief’s statement, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) spokesman while dubbing the participants of the conference as “traitors” threatened to teach them a lesson. He has said that all this happened even though “I’m witness to Shujaat Bukhari’s telling every forum including the (US) State Department cogently that no solution on Kashmir is possible without involving Syed Salahuddin and Hurriyat Conference leaders in dialogue process”.

“Sometime before the Dubai meet, Shujaat Bukhari telephoned me from Srinagar to say that the government sources have cautioned him that an order to eliminate him physically has been issued. He asked me to talk to Peer Sahib (Syed Salahuddin). After a brief effort, I could find him. Incidentally, Asad Yazdani was also present. He (the Hizb chief) was told in detail about the danger to the life of Shujaat Bukhari” Mr Mahmud has claimed.

He also says that Syed Salahuddin who is also the head of United Jihad Council, an alliance of militant outfits, asked him to convey to Bukhari that he was not a scumbag that he would ask for murdering a journalist. “He asked me to tell him (Bukhari) that he should be rest assured that this is all propaganda. When I passed this message on to Shujaat Bukhari he became very satisfied.”

Mr. Mahmud says that however for the past three to four months an erroneous campaign was run against Bukhari that he was working for Indian agencies and trying to create confusion in the ranks of tehrik (movement). “People in Islamabad would also speak on these lines but no one has concrete evidence. I said at one place that we have not chopped down his heart to know what is in it but whenever and wherever I heard him speaking he would only represent the aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” Mr. Mahmud has said.

Meanwhile, glowing tribute were on Monday paid to the noted journalist and Rising Kashmir editor-in-chief at a function held in his native village Kreeri, 42-km northwest of here, to mark his ‘Rasm-e-Qul’ (the 4th day ceremony). 50-year-old Bukhari was gunned down by three unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants in his car outside his office in Srinagar’s media hub Mushtaq Press Enclave on Thursday evening.

Thousands of people offered fateha prayers at his grave beside the mausoleum of Sufi saint Syed Murad Bukhari and later attended a memorial function at his ancestral house during which speakers recalled his “valued contributions as a fearless journalist and social and cultural activist” and paid rich tributes. Leaders and activists of various political parties-both mainstream and separatist-, members of civil society groups, senior government and police officials, journalists, lawyers and academicians participated in the ritual.

Former J&K Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad while speaking on the occasion said, “Sujhaat Bukhari was a great human being and social worker and wanted peace and reconciliation for entire region. He was a journalist of par excellence”.

The Centre Special Representative for J&K Dineshwar Sharma also visited the family of Bukhari to offer his condolences.

Tags: syed shujaat bukhari, kashmiri, lashkar-e-tayyaba