Srinagar 23 June: In a threatening statement, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former minister in Mehbooba-led government, Chaudhary Lal Singh on Friday warned the journalists representing Kashmir media of “Shujaat-like incident” for what he said creating “wrong narrative regarding the Kathua rape-and-murder case.”
As a matter of fact, Singh was ousted from the cabinet for rallying in support accused in the brutal gang rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua earlier this year.
Demanding a CBI probe into Kathua case, Singh while addressing a press conference in Jammu, said: “They (Kashmir’s journalists) have created wrong atmosphere about the whole case. Now, I would like to ask them to draw a line of journalism and think about how to live.”
Raking up the gruesome murder of ‘Rising Kashmir’ chief editor Shujaat Bukhari, he said: “Are they waiting for similar incident that has happened with Basharat (apparently referring to Shujaat)?”
“It’s better to control yourself before situation get worse,” he said, adding, “They (journalists) must draw a line so that brotherhood in the state remains intact and we also join the journey of development.”
While talking to Kashmir News Bureau, PDP Spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir stated: “Media is the fourth pillar of democracy and pivotal to the growth and the nourishment of Democratic values. We condemn this threatening, foul and abusive statement issued by BJP leader Lal Singh against the Kashmiri Journalists. We would come up with a broadbased policy statement over it. We are also of the opinion that the police should take cognizance of the matter and lodge immediately an FIR in this context. We harshly condemn this statement of Lal Singh. ”
Jammu and Kashmir young journalist association President Ajaz Ahmad War, while talking to The Kashmir News Bureau stated: “Journalism cannot be silenced by coward rhetorical warnings. The statement of Lal Singh warning the Journalists of Kashmir of dire consequences is not only condemnable but a direct attack on the freedom of speech and tantamount to killing freedom of speech in Kashmir. We believe that saner vision will dominate the scheme of things and this type of irrational and threatening statements would be countered effectively in an apt manner.” (KNB)