New Delhi, Jun 14 The Editors Guild of India today said the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari is a "new low in a rapidly deteriorating environment" for media persons in Jammu and Kashmir and called upon the state government to ensure their safety and bring to book the culprits.
It said 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 Guild also called upon the state and central governments to enhance security for all journalists in Jammu and Kashmir.
It said Bukhari was a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large number of young journalists from Kashmir.
"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," the Guild said in a release.
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.
Veteran journalist and Rising Kashmir editor Bukhari and his two PSOs were shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside the newspaper's office in the heart of this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital.
Bukhari, who was in his 50s, was leaving his office in Press Enclave in the city centre Lal Chowk for an iftar party when he was shot, officials said.