Srinagar: The threats to Kashmir Reader editor Showkat Ahmed Motta by former Special Operations Group officer and PDP “senior leader” Ashiq Bukhari were widely condemned on Saturday, with Kashmir Journalists Corps appealing to Home minister of India Rajnath Singh, director general of police K Rajendra Kumar and Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju to initiate action against Bukhari.
At a meeting, the KJC said it wanted to put in on record that if any harm comes Motta’s way, Bukhari would be held responsible.
The KJC, which is an organisation of working and professional journalists, also asked the PDP to clarify its stand on Bukhari and his threats, as he has been described by the party as a senior leader who addressed an election rally with party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed at Kupwara.
“The KJC has decided to send a communiqué to Election Commission of India and chief electoral officer of Jammu and Kashmir, seeking action against Bukhari for resorting to threats to stop the just reporting during elections,” the KJC said.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society said the phenomenon of “perpetrators of human rights violations” joining pro-India parties was “neither new, nor surprising.
“In this context, when former Ashiq Bukhari threatens the Kashmir Reader Editor, it is not a minor incident. This act of intimidation must be condemned and challenged,” the statement said.
The Jamaat-e-Islami has condemned the threat and said it was an act of a “deviated mentality”.
People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone said the threat call is a serious attack on the media freedom.
“There is no space for hooligans in this era,” he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information momvement has termed the threat as a threat to the freedom of press in Kashmir, while lamenting the fact that the “people associated with the SOG, which has been involved inhuman activities, join political parties to cover their wrongdoings”.