SRINAGAR, July 26: In a major security lapse, hardly six weeks after the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Press Enclave Partap Park, two cars of former BBC North India Correspondent Altaf Hussain, were smashed in the same area last night.
Unknown persons damaged three cars parked inside the Press Enclave in the heart of Srinagar city last night. The incident came even when there was round the clock security in the area and Police have also installed CCTV camera. Click here to watch video
Hussain told reporters that the windshields of cars were broken and the assailant (s) made their way inside his car and searched the glove compartment. “Nothing has been stolen from the car but the documents were searched,” he said.
The senior journalist said it is a security breach and sought answers from Police. “Who did it we don’t know. But one thing is significant, only six weeks before Shujaat Bukhari was killed in Press Enclave. Security was beefed up at Press Enclave after his killing. We were told that a vehicle of flying squad of the police would guard the colony from 8pm to 8 am next morning. Either all this happened in their presence or they were not present here. It is a major security breach. We need answers,” he said.
The former BBC correspondent said that his colleagues are also worried about their safety after this incident. “I have been getting phone calls from my colleagues. They are all worried. Breaking windshield and managing entry inside the cars would have taken at least half an hour for the assailants. During this time, they could have done anything,” he said.
He said the incident gives an impression that the Press Enclave isn’t safe anymore. “There was no security here. We were told security has been beefed up after the killing of Shujaat Bukhari. This incident happened after his (Shujaat) killing. It is a big question and we need an answer,” he demanded.
A senior Police officer said that the security vehicle was stationed in the Press Colony but when asked about the incident, he said they are investigating.
The incident happened under the nose of security guards of the Press Information Bureau as the cars were parked hardly 5 meters from their bunker.
The incident has instilled fear among journalists who reside or work from the Press Enclave. The fear was already looming large in the area after the killing of Bukhari. He was leaving his office in Press Enclave when he was shot dead along with his security guards on June 14.
Journalistic fraternity has expressed shock over the incident and demanded proper security of the area. They have also sought answers from police over the security lapse.