Consult before freeing prisoners, says Centre

Consult before freeing prisoners, says Centre

Consult before freeing prisoners, says Centre

The Centre has asked the Jammu and Kashmir DGP and the state’s home secretary to consult the Union Home Ministry before releasing prisoners after reports said Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led government was planning to free hundreds of separatists.

“Fearing Mufti government may order release of hardline separatist leaders and militants without consulting alliance partner BJP, the Centre has directed state DGP and the home secretary to keep the Union Ministry of Home Affairs informed about the developments in the state,” sources told Deccan Herald.

The development comes in the backdrop of accusations by opposition parties in the Parliament on release of hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat from jail, after official letters revealed that the decision was taken when Jammu and Kashmir was under Central rule in February 2015.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a statement in the Lok Sabha on Monday, had said the central government was not consulted by the Jammu and Kashmir government over the decision.

The official letters embarrassed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Centre, paving way to a fresh row in both houses of Parliament. A

senior police official while confirming the development said, “Briefing Union Home Ministry about important security issues is a normal process and there is nothing new in it. For better coordination on security issues between the center and the states such briefings are important.”

However, he acknowledged that state authorities were under tremendous pressure from the Centre to re-arrest Alam Bhat, who was released by Mufti government on Saturday.

“He (Bhat) may be re-arrested in some other case and then later after sometime will be released through court so that it looks like a win-win situation for both PDP and BJP,” the officer added.

Sources said, as Mufti also holds the charge of home ministry, the Centre fears that to appease separatists and militants, he may release dreaded militants and troublemakers.

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