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.
Invoking the brutal assassination of senior editor Shujaat Bukhari, Singh has “suggested” the Kashmir media to “draw a line” and to decide “if they have to work the way he was working”.
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, said the KEG, in a statement issued today.
“He (Lal Singh) has alleged the Kashmir media of “creating a wrong atmosphere”. He has asked the media to decide “how you to have live” and told them to “manage yourself” in wake of the recent assassination.”
The threat was delivered in a presser by the BJP lawmaker, who was sacked by the party in wake of his unflinching support to the rapists in Kathua, in Jammu. He has invoked Shujaat’s murder at a time when police in Srinagar is investigating the case.
Singh’s statement indicates that he holds some information about Shujaat’s murder and must be investigated, KEG said, in the statement.
“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.
“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.”
In the last few days after Shujaat’s killing, all newspapers in Srinagar have been getting notices from the police seeking “sources” and details of certain news items that were published said the KEG. “This sounds ridiculous in the wake of the fact that sources of all these items are part of the published material. KEG sees these notices as an attempt to harass the media and use the post-assassination shock to create the “line” that Lal Singh is talking about in Jammu,” said the statement.
“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.