Court quashes Masrat Aalam’s detention under PSA

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Srinagar: Jammu Kashmir High Court Tuesday quashed the detention of Muslim League Head Masarat Aalam under Public Safety Act and ordered the detaining authority to release him without any delay.

Aalam was booked under Public Safety Act by District authorities Baramulla under a case vide FIR number 396/2016. Justice Muzaffar Hussain Atthar after hearing the arguments from the public prosecutor Asif Maqbool and Cousel for the petitioner Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom maintained that: by issuance of writ of Certiorari, order of detention bearing number 85/DMB/PSA/2016 dated 01 September 2016, passed by District Magistrate, Baramulla, is quashed with further direction to the respondents to release the person of Mr Masrat Aalam Bhat son of Abdul Majeed Bhat of Zaindar Mohalla Srinagar, Kashmir, forthwith from preventive custody.”

Since 1990, successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir have booked popular separatist leader Masrat Aalam in more than 50 cases and 34 times under the controversail Public Safety Act (PSA). Aalam, his family members told news agency CNS has so far spent more than 19 years in State and other Indian prisons while in most of the cases filed by authorities against him for his anti-India activities the court has either acquitted or bailed him out. Presently, he has been lodged in District Jail Kathua.a

Bhat’s formal induction into separatist politics happened in 1990 when he joined hands with Muhstaq-ul-Islam, a leading separatist along with Shakeel Ahmed Bakshi of the Islamic Students League. In 1990 Bhat joined the ranks of militant group Hizbullah founded by Mushtaq. But his romance with the gun lasted only two months as he was arrested. Three years after his release he co-founded Muslim League with Mushtaq.

Bhat according to authorities was the sole force behind 2010 uprising in Kashmir. Government had even declared a bounty on his head in 2010 after he managed to evade his arrest for more than 4 months. He was apprehended in an area falling under the jurisdiction of Lal Bazar Police Station. A few day’s before the new PDP-BJP government assumed charge, Bhat was released after a gap of five years but after forty days of his release, the 45-year-old separatist leader was again arrested under PSA on April 17, 2015 in Srinagar after he organized and led a rally to receive Hurriyat Conference (G) leader Syed Ali Geelani who had then returned from New Delhi.

A number of cases against Aalam are pending in different police stations. “All these cases are fabricated. His presence and freedom do not go down well with the security agencies,” said a relative of Masarat Aalam. (CNS)

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