Sultan, editor of the independent newswire service News and Feature
Alliance (NAFA), which is based in Srinagar, the summer capital of
Jammu and Kashmir State, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman.
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
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
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.