People’s Democratic Party confirmed and stood firm in its decision of releasing the hard-line separatist leader, Masarat Alam, from the jail. It justified its decision on the ground that none should be imprisoned illegally.
The senior party leader and close confidant of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Nayeem Akhtar, told that Jammu and Kashmir was a part of the democracy prevailing in the country, and he was proud of that. He added that his party would not allow people to languish in jail for life illegally. Akhtar further added that Alam had previously been released at least six times by the High Court, but had always been re-arrested on fresh charges. He further revealed that his party had nothing to do with the release of Alam as it was the consequence of a judicial process. He expressed his party’s inability to keep Alam in jail even after he was released by the court. Akhtar further informed that it was in March 2013, that in a ruling the Supreme Court had upheld the High Court orders quashing his detention, and had concluded that Alam could not be kept in prison illegally.
Following uproar by the opposition in the Parliament on Monday, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, intervened in the discussion to inform the Lok Sabha that the Center was not consulted by the Jammu and Kashmir government before the release of the separatist leader Alam. He added that the central government had sought explanation from the J&K government on the issue, and reiterated that center would not tolerate undermining of the unity of the country. Akhtar, reacting to the P.M.’s speech, told that the state government had not acted against the law. He also reacted sharply to the criticism of Congress and National Conference, and held them responsible for the present state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir.
The 42-year old Alam had been released from jail in Baramulla on 7th March on the pretext that he had no criminal charge against him. The criticism of the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government came in the wake of his giving credit to Pakistan and Hurriyat for the peaceful election in the state. The rift between the alliance partners BJP and PDP is widening with these incidents. Taking into account the national sentiment in the backdrop of the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir State of India, the further dwindling of relations between the two alliance partners could not be ruled out.