Kashmir media has survived hell, will fight all onslaughts, says Editors Guild on Lal Singh’s threat

‘Singh, who was earlier being termed as a serious sufferer of foot and mouth disease has moved way ahead and issued a direct threat to the media in Kashmir’

Srinagar: Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) has condemned what it termed as the criminal statement of BJP leader and MLA Lal Singh Choudhary in which he issued a direct threat to the Kashmir media.

“KEG reserves the right to lodge a police case against the lawmaker who, earlier as well, named a number of reporters for his fall from grace in wake of the Kathua probe, now in a trial stage. The Congress-turned-BJP politician has seemingly talked on Kashmir media from a point of strength and possible information about the recent killing in Srinagar,” said the statement.

KEG said that it was perturbed over the sluggish pace with which the investigations in Shujaat’s murder are moving ahead.

ALSO READ: #JournalismIsNotACrime: List of Journalists killed and attacked in Kashmir proves otherwise

“At the same time, KEG is keen to see the vilification campaigns that have been going around on social media for almost a year be curbed, investigated and immediately halted. As a firm supporter of freedom of speech, KEG would like people to formally write instead of getting into shady corners of the Internet and attack institution of journalism in general and individuals in particular.”

“Kashmir media has survived hell at huge costs in last three decades. KEG reiterates that it will fight all the onslaughts aimed at preventing it from recording the contemporary history, honestly and objectively.”

Earlier, ‘for creating a wrong narrative regarding the Kathua rape-murder case’, ousted Minister Lal Singh had warned the Kashmiri journalists of a ‘Shujaat like incident’.

ALSO READ: #JournalismIsNotACrime: Why Kamran Yousuf is not Paul Comiti

Bukhari was assassinated on June 14 by unidentified gunmen outside his office in Srinagar, a day before Eid and few minutes before Iftaar (breaking of Fast during Ramzan). Bukhari succumbed to his injuries and was declared brought dead at the hospital.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein during his opening statement of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council on Monday said that he was deeply saddened by the assassination of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari.

The Committee to Protect Journalists while strongly condemned the killing of the editor said that Indian authorities must bring killers of Bukhari to justice.

ALSO READ: Shujaat’s death now a tool for goons to threaten other journalists, says Omar

In response to BJP Lal Singh’s warning to Kashmiri journalists for facing another ‘Shujaat-like incident’ , Vice-President of National Conference Party Omar Abdullah said in a tweet that “it seems Shujaat’s death is now a tool for goons to use to threaten other journalists.”

Singh was forced to resign after he participated in rally which was taken out in support of the accused in the gruesome rape and murder of an eight year old girl in Kathua earlier this year.

Singh further added, “It’s better to control yourself before situation get worse. They (journalists) must draw a line so that brotherhood in the state remains intact and we also join the journey of development.”

Singh is not new to controversies. In 2016, he threatened a delegation of Gujjar farmers by reminding them of the massacre of Muslims in Jammu region following Partition in 1947.

Earlier, his brother Rajinder Singh abused former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during a rally in Hiranagar. He was later arrested from Rajasthan by Kathua police.

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