News and Feature Alliance
January 31, 2003, in Srinagar, India
Two men entered Sultan's office at around 5:30 p.m., according to news reports. After a brief conversation with Sultan, one of the men shot him in the head. The Associated Press (AP) reported that the killer used a pistol with a silencer. No one stopped the assailants from leaving the premises, which is located in the press enclave in central Srinagar.
Though Sultan was rushed to the hospital, doctors declared the journalist dead within minutes of his arrival, police told the AP.
Sultan, 36, was known as an independent journalist who had worked for several local Urdu-language dailies during his career. In addition to running NAFA, he contributed investigative stories and columns to the Urdu-language newspaper Chattan, one of the oldest newspapers in Kashmir.
Journalists working in the disputed territory of Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim, have long been vulnerable to attack by various parties to the conflict. Sultan's colleagues told CPJ that though they were not aware of any specific threats against the journalist, wire service agencies such as NAFA are under constant pressure to carry statements issued by competing political and militant groups.
Police blamed the murder on militant groups but have not yet conducted a thorough investigation. No group claimed responsibility for Sultan's murder, and many of the leading militant organizations, including Hezb-ul Mujahedeen, condemned the murder, as did the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, the main separatist alliance.
Beats Covered: Politics
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Unknown Fire
Taken Captive: No
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