Srinagar: The authorities have slapped sixth consecutive Public Safety Act (PSA) on the incarcerated Hurriyat Conference (G) leader and Muslim League (ML) chief Masrat Alam Bhat, and justified his continuous detention by terming him a “serious threat to security of the state.”
“You (Masrat) are an element who conceives secessionist strategy and has a potential of implementing it on the ground. This trait of yours makes you a potential threat to peace,” said an order passed by District Magistrate Srinagar after Masrat was released and rearrested later on June 14.
“Taking a wholesome view of the likely impact of your activities, in case you get released at this point of time, it can be safely said that this will have an adverse impact on security of the state. In order to ensure maintenance of the security of the state, your detention under the provisions of PSA at this stage has become imperative,” said the order.
It said that since 2008, pro-freedom parties “sensing the futility of gun politics shifted their focus towards exploiting the gullible public to create circumstances conducive for propagation of secessionist ideology. In this scheme of things, you (Masrat) have emerged as a focal point around whom strategy of secessionist elements revolves.”
The order also accuses Masrat of joining the “hardline” amalgam of Hurriyat, which it alleges, is involved in creating law and order problem in the state. “Be it transfer of land to SASB in 2008, drowning of two women in Shopian in 2009 or the death of teenager in Srinagar in 2010, the amalgam including you have been exploiting the public anger in a way as to create large scale law and order problems.”
During last six years, Masrat has spend only four months outside the jails or detention centres. He was detained in Rajouri jail after the Amarnath land row in 2008 and was released on June 8, 2010 on parole; he was arrested again on October 18, 2010 after he played an active role in the mass uprising of 2010 by announcing ‘Quit Kashmir Program’. Since 2010, Masrat has been booked under PSA six times, one after the other, and 15 FIRs have been filed against him in different police stations of the Valley.
“By slapping six consecutive PSAs on him and implicating him in false cases the state administration and police have broken their own laws and regulations. It is unfortunate that the government which talks of civil liberties and morality is framing people in fake cases. What will they achieve out of it,” said Abdul Ahad Parra, acting chairman of Muslim League.
He said the state has slapped sixth PSA case on Masrat even after there is Supreme Court of India’s judgement that if there is new detention order against Masrat “it should not come into force for period of one week from the date of communication of the order to enable him to pursue appropriate legal action.”
On June 14, Masrat was released in the open court by Tehsildar Srinagar after his party had moved a bail petition. However, an hour after his release, police re-arrested him from his residence in Zaindar Mohalla area of old Srinagar.