By Syed Nashir Ali Gillani
Srinagar, Jun 23: Journalist in Kashmir on Saturday strongly condemned Chaudhary Lal Singh’s threatening remarks made in context of the Kathua rape and murder.
Addressing media persons in Jammu, the BJP leader, who was earlier ousted from the cabinet for supporting the rape accused, asked the Kashmir journalists “to mend their ways” vis-à-vis reporting the case.
With an apparent reference to the assassination of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, he said, “Kashmiri journalists have created wrong atmosphere there.”
Senior journalist and Editor Kashmir Times, Anurada Bhasin, termed the statement “obnoxious”.
“This is a horrible statement ever made, and one shall keep in mind that it has come from a person who is supporting a rape accused. He has no business passing insensitive statements on journalists who are performing their professional duties,” she said.
She said the government should take action against Singh.
“If action is not taken, it will give a notion that the state government is in hand and glove with him.”
Mufti Islah, CNN-News 18, correspondent said FIR should be lodged against Singh.
“Kashmiri journalists have been coming across such statements since 1990, but they are too brave to feel threatened by Singh,” he said.
“Director General of Police (DGP) should take note of what he has said. I urge the government to take action against him.”
Editor-in-Chief Kashmir Life, Masood Hussain, termed the statement “threatening”.
“We demand action against him. We retain the right to go to the police and register a formal case. Kashmir Editor’s Guild (KEG), of which I am a part, is considering taking action,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Journalists Association (KJA) also condemned the statement.
“KJA feels that Singh’s statement is an open threat to the journalists in Kashmir as his role was questionable in the past. He was removed for supporting the accused in the rape and murder of eight year old Gujjar girl in Kathua,” read a statement issued by them.
The statement asked police to investigate his “role in Syed Shujaat Bukhari’s assassination”.