In an obnoxious move that would leave BJP leaders red-faced and trigger strong reactions across the country the Jammu and Kashmir Government ordered release of a Hurriyat hardliner from prison. The Hurriyat hawk was jailed for causing scores of deaths in the stone-pelting agitations he spearheaded in the Valley in 2008 and 2010.
Masarat Alam, leader of the hardline-faction of Hurriyat has been released from prison following the new government’s policy of freeing political prisoners who do not face criminal charges.
The orders for the release of 42-year-old Alam, chief of the Jammu Kashmir Muslim League, has been issued by the Home Department and he is technically free, said a top police official in Baramulla, where he is lodged in the prison.
A number of lives were lost during the stone-pelting agitation in the valley.
Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendra said Alam was being released. Earlier in the day, Rajendra said that police will comply with the directions of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who has sought release of all political prisoners who do not face any criminal charge.
“Yes, all the directions issued by the government (on release of political prisoners from jails in the state) will be complied with. Let us be assured about it,” the DGP told reporters in Jammu on Saturday.
He was asked whether the process of release of political prisoners has begun at the level of the police.
“Any direction coming from the Government would be looked into and would be worked out,” the DGP said.
In a meeting with the police chief in Jammu on Wednesday, Mr Sayeed had asked the police to initiate a process of releasing all political prisoners in the State against whom no criminal charges have been registered.
He had also directed the DGP to prepare a comprehensive plan for the rehabilitation of surrendered and released militants.
Asked whether police has formulated any plan for release of separatists, including those who took part in stone pelting in 2008 and 2010, he said, “We will get back to you. We will come back with our views when we are ready with the blue print.”
“At the moment, we will not be able to say much on that. Let us work on that then we will get back to you,” he said.