New Delhi: There was uproar in Parliament today over over hardline separatist Masarat Alam’s release from prison by the PDP-BJP Government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Parliament that the release of Masarat Alam was unacceptable and that the decision (to release him) was taken by the J&K Government without the Centre’s consent. “This is not one party’s outrage, it is the nation’s outrage,” PM Modi said in the Lok Sabha,
Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament that the Jammu and Kashmir government has said in a report that there were 27 criminal cases against separatist leader Masarat Alam since 1995 and he has been granted bail in all these cases by the High Court.
The J&K Government’s report, Singh said, further states that he could be detained for only two years for the same crime. The Home Minister told Parliament that the Central Government is not satisfied with the J&K Government’s clarification and has sought clarifications.After the clarification from the state government, the Centre will issue a “strong advisory” if need arises”
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned this morning till noon as Congress members rushed into the Well of the House shouting slogans like “aatankwadi ko chhodnewalon, sharam karo, sharam karo (shame on people releasing terrorist).”
After the House was adjourned, prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh were engaged in a meeting in Parliament on this embarassing issue, which has put the ruling side on the defensive.
Earlier Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien had ruled out an adjournment motion after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured the House that neither the Government nor the BJP would compromise on national security. In the heat of the moment, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien sought a statement from the Prime Minister accusing the Centre of compromising national security.
In Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also rejected the Opposition’s demand to adjourn the listed business and suspend the Question Hour. In the midst of noisy scenes over release of Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam, Lok Sabha was also adjourned till 11:30 a.m.
Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati targeted the BJP saying it should not “compromise national interest for the lust of power”. She told the House that in 2003, she had preferred to resign as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh – when she had formed a government with BJP support – as BSP did “not want to compromise on principles”.
In Lok Sabha Opposition members were heard shouting slogans like “Jawab do jawab do, Pradhan Mantri jawab do (Prime Minister give a reply)”.
Amidst sound and fury, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, told Parliament that Centre had not been consulted by the J&K government on Masarat Alam’s release. This is a serious issue, he said adding it concerns the entire country.
According to available reports, Alam had nearly15 cases pending against him which included those registered under Section 20 and 121 Ranbir Penal Code (waging war against the country) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. In Srinagar, Masarat Alam told reporters that J&K chief minister Mufti Sayeed should not try to take political advantage out of his release, which was the result of normal legal procedure. His detention under the Public safety Act (PSA) was to end in the next two to three days, he said.