Home ministry seeks additional information after getting report from state government
GN Bureau | March 12, 2015
The centre has told the Jammu and Kashmir government to maintain close surveillance of activities of Masarat Alam, his associates and friends.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha on Thursday Home Minister Rajanth Singh said the J&K government has told Centre that there are no fresh grounds to extend detention of Masarat Alam. However, the state has been told to pursue all 27 cases against Alam vigourously. There are cases in different courts and the FIRs lodged against him include those under sections 120 and 120 of the Indian Penal Code. The sections pertain to waging war against the state.
The state government has sent a detailed report to the Union home ministry on Wednesday on the controversial release of separatist leader Alam a day after the BJP sent a stern message to alliance partner PDP. The home ministry had expressed dissatisfaction over the earlier report sent to it by the state's home department on Alam's release.
Rajnath Singh had said his government's top priority was national security and not the continuance of the state government. The coalition government in J&K has been hit by a slew of controversies with Alam's release emerging as the latest embarrassment after the Bharatiya Janata Party had to distance itself from chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed's statement crediting Pakistan and separatists for the peaceful December polls.
The BJP has decided against pulling out of the ruling alliance but sent out a stern message to the Peoples Democratic Party over the release of Alam.
The home ministry said it had sought more information from the state government after two letters circulated on social media by a news channel showed the process to release Alam began when the state was under central rule.
"The home ministry has sought additional information about the [release of Masarat Alam]. The situation is unclear, because, we have not received any further additional information," minister of state for home Kiran Rijiju told the media in Delhi.
The letters emerged a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the Muslim League leader's release in Parliament and said the Centre was neither consulted nor informed about the matter by the 10-day-old PDP-led government in which the BJP is a partner.
The 42-year-old hardline separatist, who played a key role in the 2010 anti-India protests in the Valley that led to more than 100 deaths in police firing, was released last week from Baramulla jail. There is a bar on detaining a person for more than two years under this law.
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