Srinagar, Jun 25: Awami Itehad Party (ITP) chief Er Sheikh Abdul Rashid and several of his supporters were taken into preventive custody in Srinagar when they hit the streets on Monday demanding action against former minister and BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh for allegedly threatening Kashmiri journalists.
Er Rashid, MLA from Langate constituency in the frontier district of Kupwara, and hundreds of his supporters assembled at Magarmal Bagh on Srinagar-Rambagh road holding playcards and black flags in their hands, demanding action against Choudhary Singh.
However, when they tried to march towards Civil Secretariat, seat of the government, security forces and state police personnel deployed in the area immediately swung into action and stopped them from moving ahead.
When the protestors refused to disperse and continued their march, security forces and police arrest Er Rashid and several of his supporters and bundled them into a police vehicle. They were later lodged in police station Shaheed Gunj. However, the protesters again reassembled but were again prevented to march towards the seat of the government. Over a dozen were again taken into preventive custody and lodged in police station Rajbagh.
Talking to media persons before his detention, Er Rashid demanded immediate arrest of Choudhary Lal Singh for openly threatening Kashmiri journalists. Had he (Singh) been from the other community he would have been arrested for threat, he said and alleged Singh and other BJP leaders are doing everything under a well crafted plan having the patronage of BJP high command.
BJP leader Choudhary Singh has recently 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 gunmen in Srinagar a day before Eid-ul-Fitr.
Choudhary Singh and another BJP minister had to resign from then PDP-BJP coalition government after they attended a rally in favour of accused in Rasana rape and murder of a eight-year-old girl.
“No one can silence the voice of journalists”, Er Rashid said and alleged that the way BJP president Amit Shah talked about Jammu and Ladakh regions being discriminated is not only Himalayan lie, but has lowered his stature by trying to pitch Jammu versus Kashmir.