SRINAGAR / NEW DELHI: Former J-K minister and senior BJP leader Chaudhary Lal Singh courted controversy on Saturday by warning Kashmiri journalists to draw a line between reporting facts and supporting terrorists else they would end up dead like Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari, who was shot dead by militants. Referring to senior journalist Bukhari’s assassination, the BJP MLA warned scribes to “mend their ways” while performing their professional duties.
“Kashmiri journalists have created an erroneous atmosphere and I would like to ask them to draw the 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 (of the state) is ensured,” Singh said while addressing a press conference in Jammu on Friday.
Singh’s statement drew sharp criticism from various quarters including the Kashmir Editors Guild and the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, but he stuck to his statement.
This is not Singh’s first tryst with controversy. He was forced to resign as a minister in April after he started a campaign supporting the accused in the Kathua gangrape and murder case.