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.
“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 must also ensure surveillance of Masarat Alam and his supporters,” he said, adding that J&K needed to ensure that the surveillance was done in tandem with the central government and its support.
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. “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.
“The Jammu and Kashmir state govt 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)