Separatist leader Masarat Alam’s release rocks parliament

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Masarat Alam
Masarat Alam

The BJP-led government is facing the heat in Parliament as the opposition demanded its answer over the release of separatist leader Masarat Alam.  Putting the government on the mat the opposition in Parliament demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi explain the controversial release of separatist leader Masarat Alam from prison in Jammu and Kashmir, ruled by the PDP-BJP alliance. Congress slammed the govt on saying that decision to release Alam is anti-national. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the govt won’t compromise on national security. “Govt is concerned on the issue. We are analysing the report from J-K Govt,” he said. Earlier, the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government in Jammu and Kashmir has submitted a detailed report to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on separatist leader Masarat Alam’s release.  According to reports it is a factual report in which the state government has said that under the legal circumstances, continuation of Alam’s arrest was not possible.

 The Centre is likely to issue advisory regarding such releases and ask the state government to take care of the timing and other circumstances. The report has been submitted just ahead of the likelihood of the opposition parties cornering the Narendra Modi government in Parliament on the issue. The Home Minister is likely to clarify the government’s stand on the issue. Union Home Ministry has sought a report from Jammu and Kashmir government on circumstances leading to release from jail of hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam. He had over 15 cases pending against him. Meanwhile, officials of the Kashmir division in the Home Ministry worked overtime to gather all facts from the state government on the issue which has led to strain in the PDP-BJP alliance.  The ministry wanted to know the reasons that led to release of 44-year-old Alam, who spearheaded 2010 agitation, from the Baramulla jail .

 Alam had around 15 cases pending against him which included those registered under section 120 and 121 Ranbir Penal Code (waging war against the country) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.  With Opposition parties in Parliament already up in arms over Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s statement last Sunday when he credited Pakistan, Hurriyat Conference and militant outfits for smooth conduct of elections in the state, the Government expects disruption over this development as well when the session resumes after the Holi break.  Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to outline the Government position on the issue which has kicked up a political storm.

 The sources said Union Home Secretary L C Goyal had also spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police K Rajendra to ascertain the reasons behind the release of Alam, who has also been booked by police under criminal conspiracy for 2010 agitation during which about 120 youths lost their lives.

 In Jammu, the Police Chief held a meeting with the Chief Minister over the issue.  As many as six policemen were promoted when Alam had been arrested in October 2010 from Harwan area on the outskirts of Srinagar city besides distribution of Rs 10 lakh cash reward to the cops as well as to the informers. He was carrying a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on information leading to his arrest.

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