Separatist Leader Masarat Alam Arrested, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed To Refuse Permission For Tral Rally

17/04/2015 11:10 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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India's Hindu right-wing activists prepare to burn an effigy of an effigy with pictures of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Masarat Alam during a protest in Jammu, India, Thursday, April 16, 2015. The right-wing activists were protesting after Kashmiri supporters raised pro-Pakistan slogans and waved Pakistani flags at a rally organized by separatists in Indian controlled Kashmir Wednesday. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Separatist leader Masarat Alam was on Friday taken into preventive custody by the Jammu & Kashmir police over a planned rally in Pulwama District's Tral area.

Earlier Alam and another separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had been put under house arrest. "We have been placed under house arrest so that Tral program is not successful," Alam said. "Let them (government) do whatever they want to. We will carry on with what we are doing. My message to them is that they should follow the Hurriyat program," he added.

The state government has denied permission for today's proposed congregation, with Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed reportedly instructing the police to refuse permission for the rally.

The rally was scheduled to begin from Srinagar to Tral where a youth was allegedly killed by the army while in their custody.

Political repercussions

Tasnim Aslam, the spokesperson of Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused India of using "excessive force" against separatist leaders in Jammu & Kashmir, referring to Masarat Alam and said that it such a move by the Indian Government was "regrettable".

The Congress condemned the accusation.

"A majority of the people in the Valley do not subscribe to the views and the actions expressed by Masarat Alam. So the Pakistan Foreign Ministry statement is utterly wrong and they should understand that Kashmir is integral part of India," Congress leader PC Chacko told ANI.

"Separatists and extremists have always tried to disrupt the elections...Braving the bullets, thousands of people exercised their voting power to elect a government having allegiance to the Republic of India," he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party said that it was no surprise that Alam had been arrested.

"It's no surprise, the BJP's stand was clear that no anti-India activity will be permitted. And this is not a place where the Pakistan flags or pro-Pakistan slogans are going to be accepted," said BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli.

History

There is widespread criticism against the PDP-BJP state government for releasing Alam, a political prisoner, from the Baramulla prison, as there were no criminal charges against him.

Alam is the chairman of Muslim League, a constituent of hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani and is widely seen as the latter's heir apparent.

He had been convicted for organising anti-India protests resulting in the death of 112 people in stone pelting across the Valley in 2010.

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