Masarat Alam release row: J&K CM assures Rajnath Singh of not releasing any political prisoners in future

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 10 March 2015, 01:36 PM

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Tuesday assured Home Minister Rajnath Singh of not releasing any more political prisoners without Modi government’s consent in future.

The J&K CM and Modi govt has been drawing flak for releasing Masarat Alam from prison last week.

Unfazed by the controversy over the release of separatist Masarat Alam, Peoples Democratic Party today said the Jammu and Kashmir government will abide by the court directives on the release of political prisoners.

“Whatever the Supreme Court and courts tell us, we are going to abide by that (on release of political prisoners in future)”, senior PDP leader and Minister for Sports, Imran Raza Ansari told reporters on the sidelines of a sports event here.

Asked whether the Mufti Sayeed government has written to New Delhi assuring it that the policy to release political prisoners will be put on hold, Raza said, “Whatever law says ...whatever courts direct us ...we have been maintaining this”.

On the issue of consulting coalition partner BJP or New Delhi, Raza said, “We are implementing authorities (of court orders)”.

“We are doing political reconciliation. Let that happen,” he said.

BJP legislators in Jammu and Kashmir had yesterday lodged a strong protest with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed over the release of Alam and demanded his re-arrest.

The party had also taken exception to the “misinformation campaign” that the decision to release Alam was taken after consulting it.

Under intense attack from BJP, PDP had defended the decision and said the step was taken to facilitate creation of a conducive atmosphere for talks with separatists.

On Tuesday, Opposition parties also sought to corner the government over reports that the Jammu and Kashmir government was planning to release 800 more separatists and sought to know if the state’s Governor has mentioned this in his report to the Centre.

After Naresh Agarwal (SP) and others raised the issue in Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said government was ready to respond to any specific case brought to its notice.

When the House met, Agrawal said he had given a notice under Rule 267 for suspension of business to take up the issue of reports claiming that J&K Governor in a report to Centre has said the state government planned to release 800 more separatists in a day or two.

He wanted to know if the Governor had sent any such report and whether he had signed the release order of separatist Masarat Alam. The Hurriyat leader was released from prison three days ago.

Agarwal also wanted to know whether the Centre could give an assurance that no more separatists will be released by the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rajeev Shukla (Cong) also sought to know if the orders for Alam’s release were signed by the Governor and if they were issued when the state was under President’s rule.

AIADMK members claimed 10,000 separatist prisoners are about to be released in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jaitley said Home Minister Rajnath Singh had yesterday made it absolutely clear that he had certain reservations about the report received from the state government on the release of one separatist and had sought more information.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien rejected the notice for suspension of business since the same issue was discussed threadbare yesterday and Home Minister had given his reply.

First Published: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 12:55 PM
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