Shujaat Bukhari’s murder continues to dominate editorial pages of Kashmiri dailies

WrittenBy:NL Team
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On Tuesday, major English dailies in Kashmir carried blank editorials to protest the killing of Rising Kashmir’s Editor-in-Chief Shujaat Bukhari. Today, a day after the fall of the J&K government, the publications are back in action.

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Greater Kashmir, one the most widely circulated dailies carried the headline, “BJP waves bye to PDP from New Delhi” on the front page. Rising Kashmir’s headline read, “BJP Divorces PDP”. Kashmir Reader’s headline said, “BJP pulls the rug, Mehbooba govt falls”. Kashmir Observer’s headline read as “BJP ceases alliance in J&K, Fires PDP”.

The editorial page of Rising Kashmir continued to carry opinion pieces on Bukhari. Five out of the six pieces focused on the murder. The sixth piece was an in-house editorial on the UN’s Human Rights violation report.

Greater Kashmir’s editorial did not carry any opinion pieces on the end of the coalition. The only editorial comment came in the form of a cartoon by Suhail Naqshbandi. The illustration depicted BJP flinging a chair from which Mehboob Mufti is seen falling off. The chair is flung atop a mound of human skulls sitting over a pool of blood.  One of the editorials was a commentary on how the killing of Bukhari has eliminated all hopes in the Valley.

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Kashmir Monitor also did not carry any piece on the break-up on the editorial page. All six articles on the two pages addressed the death of Bukhari.

Kashmir Observer carried a cartoon with a small write-up on the end of the coalition. The daily republished a cartoon printed in Times of India and a write-up by Baba Umar, which commented on how PDP shared its bed with BJP for far too long, only to be embarrassingly dumped in the end. Of the five opinion pieces, one touched upon the coalition and two others were on Bukhari.

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So, while PDP-BJP break-up dominated the front pages of all four major local English dailies none of them carried an in-depth editorial on it.

Meanwhile, in Delhi media, The Indian Express carried a front-page headline that read “BJP ends its J&K alliance with PDP, cites national interest, security slide”. It dedicated page six exclusively to explain the situation in J&K, with the page titled, “The J&K Breakup”. The page published seven pieces compiled by their in-house reporters. The publication also carried a detailed report on Governor’s rule in J&K on one of their pages titled “Explained”. The editorial page of IE carried six articles out of which one was regarding the end of the coalition in J&K.

The front page of Hindustan Times read “BJP pulls out, J&K govt falls”. HT also dedicated an entire section of the newspaper titled “spotlight” to cover the end of the coalition. The section featured 10 articles. Nevertheless, the six articles on the editorial page of HT did not touch upon J&K.

Times of India carried a frontpage headline stating “After Mufti Experiment, Over to Army”. ToI also had an entire section titled “End of Alliance” which featured 12 articles explaining the fall of the government. Of the six editorial pieces in ToI, one touched upon the death of Shujaat Bukhari, while another one was dedicated to the “Kashmir divorce”.

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