MHA seeks fresh clarification over J&K govt's report on Masarat Alam's release

Under attack over release of separatist Masarat Alam in Jammu and Kashmir, government on Monday admitted to "ideological differences" between BJP and PDP and said it is ready to make any "sacrifice" for national integrity.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 09, 2015, 23:18 PM IST

New Delhi: Under attack over release of separatist Masarat Alam in Jammu and Kashmir, government on Monday admitted to "ideological differences" between BJP and PDP and said it is ready to make any "sacrifice" for national integrity.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted in Rajya Sabha that no one, howsoever powerful, will be allowed to play with the unity and integrity of the country as he sought to allay concerns of members over Alam's release.

Singh, who made a statement and replied to clarifications, insisted that there was "no hidden agenda" in and the Centre has sought answers from the state government, in which BJP is a part, over the decision to release Alam.

"There is no doubt that there are ideological differeneces between BJP and PDP. We have never had any relationship with the PDP in the past. They are with us only for 10 days. Whatever influence is there, it must be yours on them. You had been with them in power in past..," he told the Congress, which has had a coalition government with PDP in the state earlier.

Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir was, is and will be an integral part of the country, the Home Minister said, "no one howsoever powerful will be allowed to play with the security, unity and integrity of India. We are ready to give any sacrifice that is required."

Singh said he was speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was present in the House as he insisted that there was "no hidden agenda" or behind the scene talks" over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.

There is "no question of any compromise with a traitor," he said.

"Our agenda is never hidden. Our agenda is always very open. We are not the one who operate behind curtains," he said as he described the meeting between Modi and Mufti Mohammed Sayeed ahead of government formation as "normal courtesy".

The Home Minister said as soon as Alam was released on Saturday, the Centre had sought clarification from the state government.

The response was not satisfactory and more clarifications have been sought, he said, adding "if need be, a stern advisory will be issued to the state government. Centre will not shy away from doing so".

Justifying the formation of government with PDP in the state, he said it was necessitated due a fractured mandate and BJP joined hands with an intent of ensuring that the state develops and flourishes.

Singh also shifted the blame on the previous Congress-NC government for not referring the matter of Alam's detention under the Public Safety Act in September 2014 to the Advisory Board and accused it of sitting over it for over three months.

"I want to assure the House that our government cannot make any compromise on public safety and public security. Our politics not only for government but for making nation," he said.

Giving Alam's background, Leader of Opposition and former J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, said he used to set a calender of protests during 2010 unrest for five months in Kashmir. He put the onus of death of 112 children during such protests on Alam.

"Alam belonged to that gang which wanted to spread unrest in Jammu and Kashmir. The damage to the strate was done for a period of five months which were wasted and 112 children were killed," the senior Congress leader said.

He said he agreed with the policy of reconciliation in Jammu and Kashmir to bring back the misguided youth into the mainstream "but caution should be taken" in such matters.

"There should be action against such people who are the masterminds. It is because of these kind of people who are responsible for the death of 112 children. There are 27 cases against him. After his release, he was not re-arrested," he said, adding that when no case was filed, how cases could have ended against him.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) questioned what was in the Common Minimum Programme and what transpired between the Prime Minister and Mufti Sayeed and whether reconciliation has been talked about in CMP or there was anything behind the curtains.

"I do not agree with Mufti (who gave credit for J&K Assembly polls to Hurriyat, militants and Pakistan), he said, adding "It is the people of Jammu and Kashmir who came out in large numbers to vote. I agree with Prime Minister that people of country be credited."

Noting that Jammu and Kashmir is a sensitive issue and people are worried if there has been any compromise on national security in the CMP, he asked government to take the country into confidence on the issue and sought tabling of CMP in Parliament.

A Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) said it was unheard of that a chief minister would make such a statement and was "unfit" to be one.

"It is an anti-national act. It is high time BJP should come out of the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. They must order for fresh elections. That is the only solution. The release of a dreaded criminal is definitely an anti-social act," he said.

Satish Misra (BSP) asked whether the state government had ever sought cancellation of Alam's bail in various cases.

Anand Sharma (Cong) said the whole nation is concerned as separatist forces are giving a challenge to the nation.

"Your CMP takes political opportunism to such an extent that it is a threat to national security," he told BJP, adding that Jammu and Kashmir is a sensitive and complex issue and what the state government has done is "unfortunate" and "objectionable"

P Rajeeve (CPI-M) said this is an act of compromise with national security and BJP was equally responsible for it as it shared the government under collective responsibility.

"That shows political opportunism of BJP that forced them to compromise on national security. Why are they continuing with government in Jammu and Kashmir," he said, adding that there are inherent contradictions between ideologies of BJP and PDP. "Political opportunism will be a threat to national security," he said.

HK Dua (Nom) asked if there was a list of such separatists being prepared who are to be released in the near future.

D Raja (CPI) said if the act is in violation of the common minimum programme, BJP cannot absolve its responsibility and has to explain its position and cannot wash its hands off it.

"Government must review cases against prisoners in Jammu and Kashmir who are genuinely innocent prisoners and go into their rehabilitation," he said, adding what was government's new initiative on talks with Pakistan.

Pramod Tiwari (Cong) said BJP was in coalition with PDP and has to take collective responsibility and the nation will not forgive it for such acts.

Javed Ali Khan (SP) and Shantaram Naik (Cong) said if government was not satisfied with the reply of the state, how can it satisfy the country.

Bhupinder Singh (BJD) said the issue concerns the nation's security and KC Tyagi (JD-U) asked if there was any hidden agenda while accusing BJP of forging an "unholy" compromise for power.