Govt seeks report on release of separatist

Govt seeks report on release of separatist

BJP-PDP govt in J&K now faces flak from all parties

Govt seeks report on release of separatist

The Centre on Sunday has sought a report from the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government on the release of the separatist leader Masrat Alam from jail.

The Union Home Ministry has asked the state government to furnish reasons as to why the leader of a hardline faction of the Hurriyat was let out of prison when 15 cases were pending against him including those registered for waging war against the country.

The Centre’s order comes in the wake of a political row which erupted earlier in the day, when the BJP claimed it was unaware of its alliance partner and J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Syed's decision to release the separatist leader.

After two months of negotiations, the BJP and the PDP joined hands to form the government in the northern state only last week. 

State BJP leaders question the release of Alam within a week of Sayeed taking over as the chief minister of the state and announcing setting free the so called "political prisoners”, who were taken into the custody by the previous Omar Abdullah government.

While the release of the hardline Kashmiri leader has been openly disapproved by many leaders of the BJP in the state, the Opposition parties, joined by the ruling BJP’s allies at the Centre, have made the issue more complex for the Narendra Modi government as they are expected to raise it in Parliament on Monday.

The Home Ministry’s Kashmir unit officials remained on their toes through out the Sunday, collecting information from the J&K government on the release seemingly to arm Home Minister Rajnath Singh with answers that Opposition parties may ask in the Parliament.

While the Opposition parties were agitated over J&K Chief Minister’s statement last Sunday when he credited Pakistan, the Hurriyat Conference and militant outfits for smooth conduct of elections in the state, BJP’s oldest ally Shiv Sena too came out in open to criticise and attack the BJP for helping the PDP form coalition government in the state.

Union Home Secretary L C Goyal was learnt to have spoken to J&K Director General of Police K Rajendra over the issue.

"The Shiv Sena had been giving warning signs on whatever has been going on in Kashmir. It is like playing with fire," party spokesman Sanjay Raut said, adding that forming a government with the PDP was "like putting the country in danger and the process of that has begun."

The Congress, which was gearing up to raise the issue in Parliament to corner the Modi government, condemned the release of Alam, saying it endangered the “hard-earned” peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

The party also demanded a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The Prime Minister and the BJP must answer as to why peaceful atmosphere of J&K is being sought to be disturbed by successive unilateral moves by PDP-BJP government," All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) Communication Department in-charge Randip Surjewala said.

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