Masarat Alam's release: BJP questioned by allies, foes

The release of hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam on Sunday triggered a major political controversy with BJP being questioned by allies and foes alike over its alliance with PDP, which is only one week old.

New Delhi: The release of hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam on Sunday triggered a major political controversy with BJP being questioned by allies and foes alike over its alliance with PDP, which is only one week old.

"Shiv Sena had been giving warning signs on whatever has been going on in Kashmir. It is like playing with fire," said the party spokesman Sanjay Raut.

He said forming a government with PDP, with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, is "like putting the country in danger and the process of that has begun."

Raut, whose party is the oldest ally of BJP, underlined that Alam is a "big danger for the country".

Slamming Alam's release, Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on his stand over the "continuous adventurism" of the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir which was "endangering" the peace in the Valley.

"We strongly condemn the release of Masarat Alam. Prime Minister, and BJP must answer as to why peaceful atmosphere of Jammu & Kashmir is being sought to be disturbed by successive unilateral moves by PDP-BJP government," AICC Communication Department in-charge Randip Surjewala said.

He recalled that the J and K Chief Minister, within an hour of swearing-in of the PDP-BJP government on Sunday last, had thanked the separatists, terrorists and Pakistan for peaceful polls instead of thanking the valour of people of Jammu & Kashmir, security forces and Election Commission.

"Release of Masarat Alam, principal propagator of stone pelters, further endangers the hard-earned peace in Jammu and Kashmir (achieved) by determined resolve of people of Jammu and Kashmir as also our security forces," he said.

Alam, the leader of the hardline-faction of Hurriyat, who had spearheaded the stone-pelting agitations in the Valley in 2008 and 2010, was released from prison last night following the new government's policy of freeing political prisoners who do not face criminal charges.

Surjewala demanded that the Prime Minister answer to the

nation whether he subscribes to such "ill-thought remarks and adventurism" by his party's coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.

Another Congress leader Manish Tewari said it was a peculiar situation that in Kashmir, a separatist is released, in Jammu, BJP is protesting and in Delhi, it evades questions.

He tweeted, "Mr PM who is he, political prisoner or terrorist?"

NC leader Devender Rana said, "it is a mismatch between BJP and PDP. Both the parties are playing with fire. They are encouraging extremist elements in Kashmir and Jammu, in a bid to divert the attention of the people from common minimum programme which is absolutely a hollow document."

Describing it as a "fixed match", he said "a very dangerous game" is being played which could lead the state to a "catastrophe".

He said whatever is happening is with the concurrence of both the stake-holders in the state government of PDP and BJP.

"It is a design, well-drawn out, drafted and is being played out. This is very dangerous game. They are playing in a sensitive state like J and K," Rana.

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