Masarat Alam was booked under the Public Safety Act on Thursday, a week after he was arrested on sedition charges. The Jammu and Kashmir government's move is likely to put the separatist leader behind bars for a minimum of two years. Yesterday, a Budgam court had reserved order on Alam's bail plea till Saturday.
The government reportedly acted under pressure from the central government, and also its coalition partner, the Bharataiya Janata Party.
The charges against Alam, besides the PSA, include Sections 121-A (waging war against the country), 124 (Sedition), 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy), 147 (rioting) of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) and other minor offences.
Bhat's counsel had moved the bail application before the Budgam Chief Judicial Magistrate in the case relating to provocative activities, including hoisting of Pakistani flag, during a rally organised in Hyderpora area on April 15 to welcome separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Srinagar.
The court heard the arguments from both sides and reserved the orders on the bail application till Saturday.
Bhat was arrested on April 16 "for his seditious activities" during the rally.
Police had registered a case against Bhat, Hurriyat conference chairman Geelani and several other separatist leaders for the provocative activities.
(with PTI inputs)