Jammu | The row between the ruling coalition partners in Jammu Kashmir over the controversial release of Hurriyat hardliner Masarat Alam escalated today with PDP saying such day-to-day affairs need not be discussed first with the BJP which, however, demanded his re-arrest.
BJP legislators in the state also lodged a strong protest with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and opposed the unilateral decision taken last week.
Under intense attack from BJP, PDP defended the decision and said the step was taken to facilitate creation of a conducive atmosphere for talks with separatists.
On the issue of not consulting the BJP before releasing Alam, senior PDP leader and MLC, Firdous Tak said, Home ministry is under obligation to implement the law that is why the ministry has taken the decision. In such issues it is a day-to-day affair and people like Masarat have been arrested and released several times in the past from time to time. I do not think day-to-day affairs need to be discussed within the coalition first and then implemented, he told reporters.
We fully defend the decision of the government to release Alam. The courts have ordered his release and the state government is implementing it, he said. The PDP said that these steps are being taken under reconciliation policy to create a conducive atmosphere to facilitate talks with separatists. For undertaking reconciliation, we have to start from somewhere.
We have to understand, when we to have talk to separatist leaders, we have to create conducive atmosphere for talks (to commence), Tak replied to a question on the steps taken by the government soon after taking over. The PDP also maintained that the government has no reason to keep Alam under detention. Quote me one legal provision under which Masarat Alam should have been detained.
We have been time and again saying that there is a difference between detention under PSA and detention for life imprisonment. It has been explained well by the Union Home Minister that PSA is meant for 6 months and can be extended for one year, Tak said. In Masarat Alam’s case, there have been seven extensions. There was no legal justification for the state government to keep him in detention, that is why he was released, he said. On PDP’s urgency to release Masarat, he said, This is the main problem. An impression is being created that Masarat Alam was released out of turn. There was no reason to detain him. The grounds were illegal that is why government has released him.
The BJP MLAs led by state party General Secretary Rajiv Jasrotia met Sayeed at his residence and submitted a memorandum. We have lodged a strong protest with the Chief Minister and expressed our deep concern over the unilateral decision (of release of the Masarat Alam), Jasrotia told reporters. He said that Sayeed assured them that their concerns would be addressed. The BJP also asked Sayeed to consider re-arrest of Alam in view of the statements made by him soon after his release.
BJP strongly opposes and rejects the decision to release Masarat Alam and believes that the conduct of Alam, after his release and the statements made by him and situation existing now, are fresh inputs to consider his fresh detention under PSA immediately in the interest of the security of the state, Jasrotia said.
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