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National
Masarat’s release rocks Parliament: Centre not consulted, says Modi
10-03-2015

NEW DELHI: Under Opposition pressure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made a statement in Lok Sabha clarifying the Centre’s stand over the release of Hurriyat hardliner Masarat Alam from jail by the Jammu and Kashmir government. “I echo the angry voices against the release of  Masarat Alam,” he said.

Modi said its ally the PDP in the J-K government had not consulted the Centre before the release of Masarat Alam. “I assure the House and the nation that govt will not accept or compromise on the issue of country’s integrity and security. We will not compromise on the safety and security of the country. We have asked the Jammu and Kashmir government for a detailed report on the issue,” the PM said.

Minutes before the PM’s statement, Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the House that there are 27 criminal cases registered against Masarat Alam.

Raising the issue in Lok Sabha, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that PM Modi should make a statement in the House as to why he was released. Kharge alleged that the J&K government, led by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, would not have done it without consulting its ally BJP.

Presenting the Government’s view, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the Centre was not consulted about his release. “This is a very serious issue… It concerns the entire country and not just one party (Congress),” he said.

Alam, who had organised anti-India protests in the Valley in 2010 that led to the death of 112 people, was freed from Baramulla jail on Saturday. Alam’s release came two days after the Chief Minister instructed the state police chief to initiate the process of releasing all political prisoners against whom there were no criminal charges.