Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam's release: Home Ministry seeks report from J&K govt
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sought a report from the Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday, on release of hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam, accused of masterminding the street violence that rocked the Valley in 2010 which resulted in death of over 100 people.
New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sought a report from the Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday, on release of hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam, accused of masterminding the street violence that rocked the Valley in 2010 which resulted in death of over 100 people.
According to reports, Alam's release heightened Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) worry about the political cost of its alliance with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's PDP and straining the fledgling ruling coalition.
J&K BJP president Jugal Kishore, earlier today, said that his party was not in support of releasing Alam, and added that they would discuss the matter with the People's Democratic Party (PDP).
Further criticising the Mufti government, BJP legislators said that they were not bothered about the coalition government, of which BJP is also a part, and demanded that the "dreaded terrorist" be re-arrested.
BJP added that the decision was not a part of Common Minimum Programme (CMP) on the basis of which the alliance government is being run in Jammu and Kashmir but PDP differed, insisting that it is in tune with the CMP.
"Masarat's release was wrong and uncalled for. We oppose it. Those in helm of affairs calling Masarat a political leader, who spearheaded 'Go Back India' campaign in Kashmir... it is ridiculous. Appropriate action must be taken. We do not bother about the government," BJP youth wing state chief and MLA Ravinder Raina told reporters.
Notably, the development has compounded the embarrassment being heaped on BJP by PDP since the day of the government being sworn-in.
While Sayeed has stressed that Masarat was under preventive detention and there was no case pending against him, according to reports, it would be difficult for the Mufti government to give an explanation to the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
Meanwhile, seeking dismissal of the Mufti government over the release of the top separatist leader, J&K National Panthers Party (JKNPP) announced a two-day bandh in Jammu starting today.
"We have called a two-day bandh from today over the decision of the state government... It is a decision against the nation, how can BJP now call itself a nationalist (party)," JKNPP patron Bhim Singh told PTI.
However, an elated Alam today said that changing governments did not change the ground reality.
"Changing governments does not change the ground reality. Either we will change it or the people," he said.
Shortly after Alam's release, yesterday, BJP workers had staged a protest against his release, saying that his release may put the PDP-BJP alliance government in danger.
“This coalition will be in danger as we will never accept this. We will protest against the release of this anti-India leader," state BJP's youth wing chief and party MLA from Nowshera Ravinder Raina had said.
Alam was released from the Baramullah jail following the orders of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. The new government's policy permits to free political prisoners who do not face criminal charges.
The 42-year-old science graduate, is known to enjoy substantial support on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).
Alam is the chairman of Muslim League, a constituent of hard-line Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and is widely seen as the latter's successor.
(With Agency inputs)