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Free for hour, separatist Masarat Alam held again

In October 2010, he was arrested after police raids across Kashmir. Since then, he has been behind bars.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
June 15, 2014 12:56:44 am

Barely an hour after he was released, firebrand Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam was rearrested by the J&K government Saturday. Alam has been in jail since 2010, when he was arrested for spearheading public protests.

On Saturday, police released Alam following a Srinagar court order. However, less than an hour later, police raided his residence in Zaindar Mohalla in old city and rearrested him.

Sources said Alam had been released due to ‘mismanagement’ and the government had actually taken a decision not to release him. Even Alam was surprised when his handcuffs were removed and he was set free, sources said.

A science graduate from old city in Srinagar, Alam became a central figure in separatist politics in 2008 when, during the Amarnath land row agitation, he commanded thousands of youths to protest in Srinagar, following which he was arrested.

Seen as an event manager for Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s Hurriyat, Alam was released in 2010. A fortnight later, the killing of teenager Tufail Matoo triggered protests in Srinagar. As Geelani was arrested and the moderate leadership chose to remain silent, a young separatist leadership took centrestage, with Alam emerging as a key face.

In October 2010, he was arrested after police raids across Kashmir. Since then, he has been behind bars.

Though the court has ordered his release more than 10 times, the state has continued to book him under the Public Safety Act, which allows the government to detain a person for up to two years without a trial.

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