Action has been taken in accordance with the law, says minister Jitendra Singh
GN Bureau | April 17, 2015
Under pressure from the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir separatist leader Masarat Alam was arrested, despite his denial of having allegedly waved Pakistani flag to greet Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani during a rally in Srinagar some days back. Geelani himself has been placed under house arrest.
Alam has been charged under Section 13A(unlawful activities), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 147 (riots) and 427 (damage to public property) under CrPC. Alam said that the J&K government doesn't want the rally to be successful and that is why such an action has been taken.
Union minister Jitendra Singh said the action has been taken in accordance with the law. Alam has been arrested to uphold national interest and there will be no compromise on this front, Singh asserted.
During Wednesday's rally in Srinagar, Alam, released from jail last month, had praised founder of Lashker-e-Toiba terror outfit Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed and asked people to join hands with his outfit. Alam was part of a procession that gathered in uptown Hyderpora locality of Srinagar city to welcome Geelani who returned to the Valley on Wednesday after remaining in New Delhi during winter for health reasons. Alam was flanked by youth, who raised pro-Pakistan and pro-freedom slogans and displayed Pakistan flags.
Geelani has been placed under house arrest. A posse of policemen has been deployed outside the Hurriyat chairman's house at Hyderpora as a preventive measure to maintain law and order.
The police have registered an FIR against Geelani, Alam and another separatist leader from Hurriyat Conference under various sections of Ranbir Penal Code and Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act.
Alam on Thursday said that he had not hoisted a Pakistan flag himself which, he said, was held by some others in the crowd. Alam was released last month in the BJP-PDP government after an incarceration of four and a half years under a string of consecutive Public Safety Act cases.
As he was being led away by police, Mr. Alam said his arrest was nothing new as “Jammu and Kashmir is being ruled on the might of power”.
“Raising of Pakistani flags and chanting pro-freedom slogans is nothing new in Jammu and Kashmir. It has been happening since 1947,” he said.
The government of chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has already denied permission to separatists for Friday's rally in Tral town of Pulwama district.
The chief minister said that waving of Pakistani flags and raising pro-Pak slogans were "not acceptable" and "will not be tolerated". The remarks came after the CM came under attack for allowing Geelani to hold a rally in Srinagar on Wednesday where pro-Pakistan slogans were shouted and Pakistani flags waved.
In view of the development, Sayeed had asked police to deny permission for Friday's rally which was scheduled to be taken from Srinagar to Tral where a youth was killed allegedly by the Army while in their custody.
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