PDP denies pressure, says Alam’s arrest justified

Wasim Khalid

Srinagar: The People’s Democratic Party justified Masrat Alam’s arrest, saying he had shouted pro-Pakistan and pro-Lashkar-e-Taiba slogans during a rally in Hyderpora on Wednesday.
PDP spokesman Waheed Parra said that Masrat was arrested after his video speech was scrutinized by the police.
“His speech instigates violence. It is highly objectionable. In his video speech, one finds him passing on message of Lashkar and Pakistan as well. It was in no way a peace rally,” Parra told Kashmir Reader.
“Apart from him, more people have been arrested as they too were shouting objectionable slogans,” he said.
The spokesman said the government arrested them by following a proper legal procedure.
“Their acts and words were a cognizable offence and law took its course,” Parra said, denying that the PDP-led coalition was under pressure from New Delhi to arrest Masrat Alam.
Asked why Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and senior Hurriyat leader Peer Saifullah were spared the arrest, Parra said, “Geelani sahib has himself held meeting where he denied of raising the Pakistani flag. And also in the video, it appears clearly that Geelani Sahib and Peer Saifullah had not spoken anything which was objectionable.”
He said the Masrat’s statement was contradictory to the “idea of the Hurriyat (Conference)”.
“The speech instigated people to disrupt peace. It is against the idea of the Hurriyat,” Parra added.
Alam, Geelani and Saifullah were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly raising pro-Pakistani slogans and waving Pakistani flag during a recent rally at Hyderpora.
Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh told PTI said on Friday that the state government will act tough against Kashmiri resistance leaders and will not tolerate their “provocative” actions in the state again.
Asked whether Mufti government succumbed to the BJP’s pressure, he said, “It is not a question of pressure. Actually the government has acted. The state and the central governments share the responsibility.”
“We had been saying that we are going to act, and we have acted. We would not allow such activity to reoccur in Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh said.
He said, as far as, impact of the incident was concerned, “It was not so huge, as they do not have such support…but a single incident like this gives a wrong signal. It gives a message that government was coming under pressure. We will act again if such incident is repeated. We are not going to tolerate it.”   —(With PTI inputs)