The Editors Guild of India has condemned the "dastardly attack" on Srinagar-based senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari, calling it a "new low."
Bukhari, who was the Editor-in-Chief of the Srinagar-based newspaper Rising Kashmir, was shot dead by unidentified men Thursday evening.
A statement issued by the Guild, "Bukhari was a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir."
The Guild also called upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to take urgent steps to bring to book the culprits and ensure the safety and security of media personnel in the state.
"An attack on a journalist challenges the very foundations of a free press and vibrant democracy, and more so in a state like Jammu and Kashmir that is going through militancy," the statement mentioned.
The Guild further read, "Recent weeks have also seen threats of violence against many journalists in different parts of the country. The killing of Bukhari is a new low in a rapidly deteriorating environment for media practitioners in Kashmir, in particular, and in the country in general."
It also called upon the Centre to take note of the developments and take necessary steps to ensure a situation where the media can discharge its duties without any fear of violence.
Just minutes before Iftaar - the breaking of fast in the Islamic holy month of Ramzan - terrorists sprayed bullets on Bukhari, outside his Press Colony residence in Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital.
In the past, he survived three assassination attempts and had been under police protection since 2000.
But on Thursday, when people in the Valley looked forward to the sighting of Eid's crescent, terrorists shot Bukhari dead, leaving him in a pool of blood, his body ridden with bullets. (ANI)