Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in a new statement on the release of separatist Masarat Alam, said in the Lok Sabha today that the Centre had issued an advisory to the Jammu and Kashmir government, asking it to pursue all cases against Alam vigorously and ensure surveillance of the separatist leader.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there were no fresh grounds for Masarat Alam's re-arrest. Reuters

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there were no fresh grounds for Masarat Alam’s re-arrest. Reuters

“In its advisory, the Home Ministry has told the state government (of Jammu and Kashmir) that all the 27 criminal cases against Masarat Alam must be pursued vigorously,” said Singh in the Lok Sabha.

“The state government has .. informed that a proper system is in place to have an effective surveillance of Masarat Alam Bhat’s activities. As and when anything adverse surfaces, appropriate action as envisaged by law will be taken.

“The intelligence apparatus and local police work in tandem, thereby facilitating planning of advance and adequate deployment of law and order components for maintenance of peace and order in areas likely to be visited by Masarat Alam Bhat and other separatist elements,” Singh said citing a fresh report sent by the Mufti Sayeed government to the Centre.

He said the Home Ministry has issued to Jammu and Kashmir government an advisory which says, “A close surveillance must be ensured on such of the activities of Masarat Alam Bhat and his other associates and followers, which are deterimental to the public order or the unity and integrity of the country in general and the state of Jammu and Kashmir in particular.”

Stating that there were 27 cases against Masarat Alam who had been booked eight times since 2010, Singh also said that there were no fresh grounds to issue a new detention order against Alam. However, Singh added that the District Magistrate Jammu was further informed that a fresh order can, however, be issued for detention of the accused after following the procedure prescribed in the Public Safety Act and directions of the Supreme Court and thereafter the detenee was released on 7 March 2015.

“On 15 September, 2014, a detention order was issued by the district magistrate which was received in the home department of the Jammu and Kashmir government after a lapse of 23 days,” Singh said, adding that a detention order against a person needed to be approved by the state government within 12 days.

He also said the state has informed that the Supreme Court of India had also observed in March 2013 that if any fresh detention order is issued for detention with respect to Masarat Alam Bhat the same shall not come into force for a period of one week from the date of communication of the order to enable him to pursue appropriate legal remedy.

“The Jammu and Kashmir state government informed the district magistrate on 4 February that the detention of Masarat Alam ceased to remain enforced,” said Singh.

Rajnath Singh‘s statements come after BJP said on Wednesday that all contentious issues would be thoroughly discussed with the Kashmir government at the first meeting of the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet on Wednesday.

PDP on Wednesday had also admitted that the decision to release Masarat Alam had been taken in haste. “The damage which has been done to the smooth functioning of the coalition government has been duly acknowledged by PDP. It has been acknowledged that the decision to release Masarat Alam was taken in haste which could have been avoided and consultation with BJP, as equal partner of coalition government, should have been done,” chief spokesperson of BJP’s state unit, Sunil Sethi had told reporters in Jammu.

The entire controversy began when Alam, who had been in detention for four and a half years, was released on 7 March. The separatist leader had been arrested in October 2010 at the end of agitation that year. His release had sparked outrage in the Parliament, with the Opposition attacking the government, saying the government placed its greed for power before national security.

(With inputs from PTI)

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J&K govt must ensure surveillance of Masarat Alam, pursue all cases against him: Rajnath