JAMMU: Former minister and senior BJP leader Lal Singh has alleged that Kashmiri journalists have created "an erroneous atmosphere" and warned them to draw a line or face the fate of 'Rising Kashmir' editor Shujaat Bukhari, who was shot dead by militants.
Singh's statement drew condemnation from the National Conference.
The party said the remarks merited "immediate cognisance" by the state police.
"Kashmiri journalists have created an erroneous atmosphere and I would like to ask them to draw a line. You want to live like what happened to Basharat (Shujaat Bukhari). Take care of yourselves and draw a line so that the brotherhood is not broken and it is maintained so that progress and development is ensured," Singh told reporters here yesterday.
Singh, who has started a campaign for a CBI probe into the Kathua rape-and-murder case after resigning from the previous PDP-led government in April, has quite often over the past few months blamed the media, especially Kashmir-based journalists, for creating a 'wrong perception' about the January incident.
Singh and his colleague Chander Prakash Ganga had resigned on April 13 over their participation in an earlier rally in support of the accused in the gang rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in Kathua district.
"We resigned because the perception created by the national media was not good.
It portrayed the situation in a wrong way, which was not the case at all.
It was portrayed that the entire Jammu region was siding with rapists," he had earlier claimed.
Reacting to the remarks of the BJP leader, the National Conference termed it as 'outrageous' and said it merited immediate cognisance by the state police.
"National Conference strongly condemns the outrageous remarks and threatening of Kashmiri journalists by BJP leader and MLA Chdaudhary Lal Singh. This merits immediate cognisance by the @JmuKmrPolice. We hope the law isn't subverted 'party spokesperson," the party said in a tweet.
Earlier, NC vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah wrote on his Twitter account, "Dear journalists, your colleagues in Kashmir just got threatened by a @BJP4India MLA."
It seems Shujaat's death is now a tool for goons to use to threaten other journalists.
Bukhari and his two personal security officers were shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside the newspaper's office in the heart of Srinagar on June 14.