Controversy rages on release of militant Masarat Alam
GN Bureau | March 10, 2015
Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that the security of India is important and not the alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was commenting on the controversial decision to release separatist leader Masarat Alam by the J-K government last week.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a partner in J&K and the home minister said that the government will not compromise with the security of the country which is a priority for the Centre. He also said the Centre is not satisfied with J&K government report on Masarat Alam's release and sought clarification. Chief minister Mufti’s PDP has said that the J&K govt will abide by the directives of the courts on the issue of release of political prisoners in the state.
The opposition has stepped up pressure on the government over reports that the J-K government was planning to release more separatist.
Rajeev Shukla (Congress) sought to know if the orders for Alam's release were signed by the governor and if they were issued when the state was under President's rule. AIADMK members claimed 10,000 separatist prisoners are about to be released in Jammu and Kashmir.
Masarat's release on Saturday has further exposed the deep faultlines that exist between allies PDP and BJP. While PDP hailed his release, BJP firmly criticised it.
The 43-year-old former commander of Hizbullah, Alam, who now heads Pro Pakistan J&K Muslim League had become a separatist cult-figure in 2010 when he led the agitation from underground and launched the "Quit Kashmir" movement giving sleepless nights to the police. A former student leader and a resident of Zaindar Moholla in Srinagar, he has served 17 years in jail at different intervals since the onset of militancy in 1990. An alumnus of top Christian missionary school here, Alam joined separatist Muslim Students Federation in his student days and was a regular participant in the protests and processions for 'azadi'.
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