Police Slaps 36th PSA on Masrat, Says Jailed Leader a Threat

Srinagar—A few days after Jammu Kashmir High Court quashed the detention of separatist leader Masrat Alam Bhat under Public Safety Act (PSA), police arrested him again and shifted him to Kotbalwal Jail late Wednesday while authorities slapped 36th Public Safety Act on him.

A police official on condition of anonymity told a local news agency that ‘Bhat is still a threat to peace and the decision was taken in the ‘interest of national security’. 

The fresh PSA was passed last evening by the Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, official reports said.

Sources said that Masrat Alam who had been lodged in Kupwara jail few days ago was again send back to Kotbalwal jail on Wednesday night.

Police sources said that Bhat has been slapped with at least 36 PSA detentions and has over 29 FIRs against him, most of them having serious charges including “waging war against State.”

Bhat who is the head of Jammu Kashmir Muslim League is the resident of Zaindar Mohall Srinagar.

A student of Tyndale Biscoe, Bhat came to lime light in 2010 when he spearheaded a long agitation against State. Police declared a reward for his arrest and finally he was apprehended from Lal Bazar area of Srinagar city in 2010. He has been languishing in jail from past 7 years except for a brief period when he was released shortly before late Mufit Muhammad Sayed assumed the charge of the state.

    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 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.

   Meanwhile, a Muslim League spokesperson condemned the re-arrest and slapping of PSA on Bhat. He said government has been sending us a clear message that Court orders doesn’t matter to them and they do whatever they like to do. “We are not surprised as it is the practice of the government to choke the voice and crush the sentiments of people,” the spokesperson said. (CNS)

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