The Jammu and Kashmir government will not free any more political prisoners or militants, it stated today after release of hardline separatist Masarat Alam created huge strains in the PDP-BJP coalition and uproar in Parliament.
“There is no such thing”, the State Home Secretary Suresh Kumar said on being asked whether government will continue with the release of more militants and political prisoners.
“No Public Safety Act could be re-framed against Masarat Alam, that is why he was released. Rest there is nothing more (releases)”, Kumar told PTI in Jammu.
Defending the decision to release Alam, the Home Secretary said, “There is limit of detaining some one under PSA. You can have maximum six months and one time more”.
“As per the Supreme Court Judgement you cannot detain anyone again and again on the same charge. If you have done that there should be fresh charges against him”, he said.
Amidst the raging controversy, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh today met BJP chief Amit Shah in Delhi and apprised him of the situation in the state in the wake of the controversy over Alam’s release.
According to sources, Singh met Shah at his residence and informed him of the state BJP’s stand on the controversial issue and the memorandum it handed over to Sayeed.
Pushed on the backfoot over Alam’s release, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asserted that his government’s top priority is national security and not the continuance of government in the state where BJP is an alliance partner with PDP.
His remarks came on a day Opposition parties in Parliament upped the ante against 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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made it clear in Parliament on Monday that release of Alam was not acceptable and that the government won’t tolerate any compromise with the nation’s integrity.
Putting the Government on the mat, Opposition wondered whether BJP has a “secret pact” with PDP on the issue and demanded re-arrest of Alam against whom there are 27 criminal cases, including murder, sedition and conspiracy. He was detained eight times.
The Home Minister said, “My government will not compromise with national security at any cost. For us any government, whether in alliance or not, that is not our priority. Our priority is country and its security. You should understand this intention of ours.