Pursue all 27 cases against separatist Masarat Alam, keep close surveillance: Centre to J&K govt

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New Delhi: The Home Ministry on Thursday sent a strong message to the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir asking it to pursue all 27 cases against hardliner Masarat Alam.

Alam’s release had created huge strains in the PDP-BJP coalition.

Pushed on the backfoot over Alam’s release, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted on Tuesday that his government’s top priority is national security and not the continuance of government in the state where BJP is an alliance partner with PDP.

His remarks came on a day Opposition parties in Parliament upped the ante against the Government over reports that the Jammu and Kashmir government was planning to release 800 more separatists and sought to know if the state’s Governor has mentioned this in his report to the Centre.

The Home Minister said, “My government will not compromise with national security at any cost. For us any government, whether in alliance or not, that is not our priority. Our priority is country and its security. You should understand this intention of ours.”

The Home Minister said he was not satisfied with the official version that the state government sent to his Ministry earlier on this subject.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also made it clear in Parliament that Alam’s release was unacceptable and that the government won’t tolerate any compromise with the nation’s integrity.

BJP is in an alliance with PDP in sharing power in the state after the state threw a fractured verdict in the results of assembly polls declared in December.

BJP has said that there should be no further release of militants or political prisoners in Jammu and Kashmir without proper consultations between the two allies.

Jammu and Kashmir government had now said that it would not free any more political prisoners or militants.

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