Circumventing the Jammu and Kashmir High Court order to release separatist leader Masarat Alam, the J&K Police Tuesday arrested him seconds after his release from Jammu’s Kotbalwal jail.
The J&K High court had last month quashed the Public Safety Act (PSA) under which Alam was under arrest since April this year and had ordered the government to release the separatist leader.
“He (Alam) was released after we provided a copy of the high court order to the jail authorities on Tuesday,” said Muslim League spokesperson Mohammed Rafiq Ganai.
“But even as he was yet to come out of the jail, a few policemen in civvies, who were already present inside the jail, arrested him again.”
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Considered close to separatist Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Alam heads the Muslim League in the state.
Ganai said Alam was taken to an undisclosed location. “We have no information about him and the police isn’t telling us anything. We are worried for his safety,” he said.
“Police have waged a war against the Muslim League leaders and activists. They (leaders) are being arrested and harassed by the men in uniform,” he added.
Jammu SSP Rajeev Kumar Pandey also expressed ignorance in the matter but sources said the separatist leader was taken to the Joint Interrogation Centre at Jammu.
Masarat Alam was arrested on April 17 this year, barely a month after his release from Baramulla Jail, for waiving Pakistani flags at a separatist rally in the Valley.
While ordering Alam’s release from prison, a bench of Justice Hasnain Masoodi had said his detention was “undemocratic and repugnant to rule of law”.
“It violates fundamental principle of Criminal Jurisprudence providing for presumption of innocence of accused till he is proved guilty on fair and transparent trail,” the court had observed.
His release in March, following the orders of the chief minister, had led to a huge controversy between the ruling PDP and BJP coalition partners.
It led to the ouster of the then State Home Secretary Suresh Kumar.
The Union Home Ministry had also sent a team of senion offiers to examine the sequence of events that prevented the state from keeping him in custody.