Thousands attend the funeral of slain senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari

Family members and friends bid a tearful adieu to Rising Kashmir Editor-in-Chief Shujaat Bukhari, who was shot dead by unidentified assailants yesterday.

Commentators have said that the very qualities that Bukhari is being lauded for today are the ones that got him killed — that he was a rare voice of peace and sanity in Kashmir. That meant, the commentators clarified, that he found himself between a rock and a hard place. Kashmiri separatists disliked him for not being anti-India, while Indian nationalists disliked him for not being nationalistic enough.

Bukhari and his personal security officer were killed outside his Press Colony residence in Srinagar on Thursday, leaving him in a pool of blood. The noted journalist was about to break his Ramzan fast with Iftar, when the incident occurred.

An attempt on Bukhari’s life had been made earlier too. A few years ago, Bukhari was kidnapped from Srinagar’s Residency Road and bundled into an auto. But Bukhari was able to jump out and escape as the auto reached the Old City.

On Friday, Omar Abdullah, several members of the Mehbooba Mufti government, top police officers, JKLF Chief Yasin Malik were among the thousands who attended the funeral of the slain editor. Bukhari’s body was cremated in his ancestral graveyard at Kreeri Baramulla. The atmosphere was heavy with grief with people still coming into terms with the untimely and brutal death of one of the most well-known journalist of the valley. People from everywhere attended the funeral to pay their heartfelt tribute. It was raining heavily too, perhaps in sync with the grief-struck atmosphere prevailing during the funeral.

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