BJP Jammu and Kashmir leader Choudhary Lal Singh on Saturday sparked a controversy, saying that Kashmiri journalists should mend their ways, in reference to Kathua rape and murder case. Addressing media in Jammu on June 22, Friday, the BJP leader said that journalists of Kashmir have created a wrong environment with their coverage on heinous crime which outraged the whole country. Further commenting on the matter, he said Kashmiri scribes should draw a line in journalism, so that brotherhood is maintained and there is progress. However, this is not the first time that remarks by former forest minister in the BJP-PDP government has triggered a controversy, the BJP leader is actually no stranger to controversy.
Singh was sacked from the then Mehbooba Mufti’s cabinet after he participated a rally organized by Hindu Ekta Manch in support of accused men involved in Kathua rape case. He is currently member of 12th Legislative Assembly from Basholi constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.
His remark comes days after Kashmiri journalist and Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead in Press Colony in Srinagar by three bike-borne terrorists when he was outside his office and leaving for Iftar. The killing of Kashmiri journalist, who had also worked for many media organizations, including The Hindu for 15 years, shocked the whole country.
Last year, the BJP leader threatened the Gujjar community of Jammu reminding them of the massacre of Muslims in Jammu after partition in 1947. Former Chief Minister and JKNC president Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to criticize BJP leader over his remarks. He said, “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.”