Nothing wrong in release of Masrat Alam: Mehbooba Mufti

Nothing wrong in release of Masrat Alam: Mehbooba Mufti

Nothing wrong in release of Masrat Alam: Mehbooba Mufti
There was "nothing wrong" in the release of hardcore separatist Masrat Alam,  PDP President Mehbooba Mufti today said maintaining he never used a gun and was a product of the 2010 stone-pelting unrest which he had spearheaded.

She said the Jammu and Kashmir government headed by her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was only upholding a Supreme Court order by freeing the separatist.
Alam's release last week had rocked Parliament and prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare that it was "unacceptable".

"Nothing wrong," she said at the India Today Conclave when asked if she thinks Alam's release was wrong, a development which has strained PDP's ties with coalition partner BJP.

"If upholding the direction of the Supreme Court is wrong, then what do we do?... You are trying to subvert your own Supreme Court when it comes to Kashmir. How can you do that?," she wondered, referring to a court direction that Alam could be further detained only if there are fresh grounds for doing so.

The combative PDP leader, who asserted that PDP-BJP alliance was driven by the mandate, said there should not be "double standards" over court judgements.
"You pick up number 28 on the list and hang Afzal Guru and say it's SC judgement but when the same SC says release Alam who is being held without charge you question it," she said.

"I wish when Masrat Alam was released that people should have been debating how the Supreme Court has evolved to the extent... that it has given a judgement entirely contrary to what is the security mindset in the country.

"Masrat Alam would not acknowledge it but I am sure he in his heart of hearts or people around him would be talking 'Oh God, this is the Indian Supreme Court," she said.

On demands to scrap Article 370, which grants special status to J&K, Mehbooba said the Valley was already physically integrated with India and PDP, in partnership with BJP, wanted it to "emotionally" integrate with the rest of the country.

The PDP chief warned that if the violence of 2010 was repeated, "there would be many more Masrat Alams".

"We are here for reconciliation. We are here to do things for J&K and if we can't do that, we better pack our bags and sit at home," she said.

Asked what her government would do to punish alleged killers of Kashmiri Pandits, like Bitta Karate, who continue to roam free, she said, "I wish if you could have a truth and reconciliation commission where there is Bitta Karate or somebody else who has killed people in fake encounters, we could to justice for all. Not one-sided."

Mehbooba praised Modi for his "large-heartedness in accommodating different views" and said BJP has walked "quite a distance" to meet the political aspirations in Jammu and Kashmir.

She, however, declined to draw a comparison between BJP stalwart and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Modi, saying the former had evolved over the years while Modi had not even completed a year as prime minister.

She accused Congress of changing stands on a host of issues like AFSPA and others.

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