Masarat Alam released from Kathua Jail, rearrested by CID

Two days after hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Masarat Alam’s Public Safety Act (PSA) was quashed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, he was released from Kathua Jail around 7.30 pm today and rearrested immediately by a CID counterinsurgency team outside the prison gate.
The CID team will hand over Masarat Alam to a party of the Baramulla police awaiting in Jammu.
Masarat Alam was lodged in Kathua Jail after he was booked in September this year under the PSA by the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, for fuelling the unrest in Kashmir.
“A CID counterinsurgency party rearrested Masarat Alam from outside Kathua Jail around 7.30 pm after presenting the papers to the jail authorities. He has been taken to Jammu where he will be handed over to a Baramulla police party. After that, the Baramulla police are expected to take him to the Valley,” said a source.
Masarat’s detention under PSA was quashed by the High Court on December 27, citing that no material evidence had been placed on record against him by the detaining authority.
The separatist leader is booked under several other cases too. The hardline Hurriyat leader has been behind bars since the 2010 Kashmir unrest, when he was the main force behind the shutdown calls and protest demonstrations. He was released on March 9, 2015, for a brief period but was again booked for anti-national activities.
Masarat heads the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League and is the close associate of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He is also considered Geelani’s successor as his health has remained a cause for concern for the pro-freedom groups in the Kashmir valley.
For the past 26 years, Masarat has spent around 19 years behind bars and is considered more hardliner among the hardline camp of the Hurriyat. He has been vocal about his anti-India sentiments in his speeches and slogans.
The issue is certainly going to be a major cause for concern for the PDP-BJP government as Masarat’s release has not been favoured by people sitting in New Delhi and agencies which see him as a bigger threat than Geelani.
Three more persons Javed, Altaf and Moshin, booked in stone-throwing cases and lodged at Kathua Jail, were also taken away by the CID team along with Masarat Alam.

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