Can’t detain people illegally: PDP
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Can’t detain people illegally: PDP

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will not tolerate anything that undermines the unity of India, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday defended its decision to release separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat saying “people can’t be illegally detained in jails.”

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will not tolerate anything that undermines the unity of India, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday defended its decision to release separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat saying "people can't be illegally detained in jails."

"We are part of a democracy and very proud of it. So people of Jammu and Kashmir are also entitled to their democratic rights. We can't keep people in jails illegally for life," PDP spokesman and Education minister, Naeem Akhtar said.

He added Masrat was released by the state high court about six times in the past but was always re-arrested under fresh charges. "We have nothing to do with it his release was part of a judicial process. We can't keep a person languishing in jail forever even after the courts have released him," he said.

"In March 2013, a Supreme Court ruling in the Masarat Alam case said that he cannot be illegally detained, and upheld the high court's decision quashing his detention," Akhtar added.

'ALAM RELEASE AIMED AT FACILITATING TALKS WITH SEPARATISTS'

Meanwhile, another PDP leader said the step was taken to facilitate creation of a conducive atmosphere for talks with separatists. "We fully defend the decision 

of the government to release Alam. The courts have ordered his release and the state government is implementing it," senior party leader and MLC, Firdous Tak told reporters here.

The PDP said that these steps are being taken under reconciliation policy to create a conducive atmosphere to facilitate talks with separatists.

"For undertaking reconciliation, we have to start from somewhere. We have to understand, when we to have talk to separatist leaders, we have to create conducive atmosphere for talks (to commence)", 

Tak replied to a question on the steps taken by the government soon after taking over.

On PDP's urgency to release Masarat, he said, "This is the main problem. An impression is being created that Masarat Alam was released out of turn. There was no reason to detain him. The grounds were illegal that is why government has released him."

On the issue of not consulting the BJP before releasing him, the PDP MLC said, "Home ministry is under obligation to implement the law that is why the ministry has taken the decision.

"In such issues it is a day to day affair and people like Masarat have been arrested and released several times in the past from time to time. I do not think day to day affairs need to be discussed within the coalition first and then implemented," he said. 

PTI
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