Controversial BJP MLA Choudhary Lal Singh threatens Kashmiri journalists
Singh was ousted from the state’s cabinet of PDP-BJP government for participating in the rally of Hindu Ekta Mach, which was held in support of the accused persons involved in Kathua case.
In a veiled reference to the murder of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari, BJP MLA Choudhary Lal Singh threatened journalists in Kashmir to draw a line while performing their professional duties.
Singh was ousted from the state’s cabinet of People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government for participating in the rally of Hindu Ekta Mach, which was held in support of the accused persons involved in Kathua-rape-and-murder case.
Speaking at a press conference, he reiterated his demand for a CBI probe in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic Bakerwal girl, an issued that had become a flashpoint between the alliance partners.
“Kashmir’s journalists had created a wrong atmosphere (narrative) over the entire incident (Kathua case). I would like to ask them to draw a line in their journalism and decide how they want to live on. Do they want to live like Basharat (apparently in reference to Rising Kashmir’s slain editor, Shujaat Bukhari)? Do they want this kind of situation to continue? They must exercise self-restraint,” Singh told media persons in Jammu on Friday.
Former Chief Minister of the state and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah was quick to react on Twitter. It seems Shujaat’s death is now a tool for goons to use to threaten other journalists, he said.
The trial in the case began on May 31, with the seven accused being produced before the district and sessions judge in Pathankot after the Supreme Court shifted the hearing outside Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh, during his tenure as Forest Minister of the state, had got bad press after he was caught on camera, issuing threats to members of Gujjar community, reminding them of the massacre of Muslims in Jammu after partition in 1947.
Earlier on June 9, police arrested MLA’s brother Choudhary Rajinder Singh alias Babby from Rajasthan, who had been absconding after a case was registered against him for abusing the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at a rally. He was granted bail by a Kathua court on June 19.
“Requested the Governor to look into the Kathua case so justice is served and also to protect the Gujjar and Bakarwal communities so they aren't harassed in the guise of an anti-encroachment drive,” PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter.
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Published: 23 Jun 2018, 4:20 PM