Blog that vilified Shujaat Bukhari issues threats to two Kashmiri journalists

The anonymous blog has accused Iftikhar Gilani and Ahmed Ali Fayyaz of ‘furthering India’s interests’.

New Delhi: 27 Jun 2018

Days after eminent Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari was assassinated near his office in Srinagar, an anonymous blog has issued a veiled threat against two other senior Kashmiri journalists Iftikhar Gilani and Ahmed Ali Fayyaz.

The blog, which ran a provocative piece against Bukhari 11 days before was murdered, has accused the two journalists of furthering India’s interests through their peace process initiatives.

“Kashmir struggle can get hijacked by these types of characters and these characters will get exposed with the span of time. Time and history always judge such kind of characters and every one will be judged according to their approach. History and Time never forgets who is who & what role was played!!! (sic),” the post, published at the blog Kashmir Fight, stated.

Earlier campaign

In its piece against Bukhari, titled The Touts who are betraying the Kashmir Struggle, the blog said the journalist was close to the Indian establishment and betrayed the Kashmir struggle. A day after Bukhari’s assassination on 14 June, the blog called the incident “condemnable”, but added that his actions could not be “washed away by his demise”.

“These guys claim to be the saviors of Kashmir cause by initiating the peace process, but on the other hand put forward the Indian version of solution and internally represent Indian interests through their so called Peace Process Initiatives,” the latest post on the blog said.

The blog has earlier targeted Kashmiri journalists, including Gilani and Fayyaz, in several inflammatory posts.

Appropriate action will be taken against the blog, sources in the Jammu and Kashmir Police told ThePrint.

‘Preposterous allegations’

In response to the latest blog post, Fayyaz said on Facebook that the people who ran a sustained vilification campaign against Bukhari till his assassination are still continuing, and have now turned to Gilani and himself.

Clarifying that he was not part of the Track II diplomacy, Fayyaz wrote, “It is completely malicious and preposterous to allege that I have anybody’s brief in discharging my duty.”

A senior Kashmir-based observer said this has been a pattern in Kashmir. “When you have to hit someone, it precedes with a similar campaign to legitimise killing. Bukhari was told by the police that his, Iftikhar’s and noted human rights activist Khurram Parvez’s lives are in danger,” he said on condition of anonymity.

In an article in news daily DNA last week, Gilani said the campaign against those who attended a Track II conference in Dubai last year resurfaced last month and left Bukhari scared.

“Minutes before his death, he called me from Srinagar and advised me to take care as the campaign against us from fake social media accounts was getting shriller.

His voice was wobbly, so I asked him to call later in the night to discuss in detail. Barely 20 minutes later, news of his cold-blooded murder started flashing. Those who had engineered the campaign may not have executed his assassination, but their hands are equally soaked in his blood,” wrote Gilani.( The Print )