As expected, the PDP led coalition government has detained Hurriyat Conference (G) leader, Masarat Alam under the draconian Public Safety Act. In the past twenty five years Masarat has spend more than seventeen years in prisons under various PSA orders. This PSA order is against the Indian Supreme court decision of March 22, 2013 that mandated, any fresh PSA order against him would not come into force for a week from the date of communication of the order to enable him to pursue appropriate legal remedies. Further, the transfer of Alam to Jammu under this PSA order comes two days before his bail hearing in a FIR where he has been charged for sedition and waging war against India for being part of a peaceful procession. Neither the sloganeering in the procession nor the raising of the Pakistani flag would be considered criminal even under Indian law. The FIR arrest, and PSA order are bad in law, and against the decisions of the Indian Supreme court, and the Jammu and Kashmir High court.
By this preventive detention order the government has bypassed the judicial process and undermined its own institutions. The government in J&K as usual has chosen to act as surrogates, and pay heed to the fascist groups and the jingoistic media of India, who earlier ensured hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru for satisfying ‘collective conscience’ of Indian people and now Alam too is being victimized to address the same ‘collective conscience’. The fresh detention hits hard at Mufti Sayeed’s healing touch `philosophy’. This time going is getting tough for him. For staying in power, he is making one compromise after the other. The irony is that some people construe him as a sympathiser of the pro-resistance camp. The pro-resistance camp, however, perceives him as a surrogate to the fascist forces. Mufti had assured a ‘change’ but it seems the government of India is not ready to change its decades old Kashmir policy. Dissent was crushed brutally in early 50s and it continues to be crushed in the same manner now. New Delhi, however, seems in no mood to learn lessons from its past mistakes. More than half a million troops have failed to crush the sentiment of ‘azadi’ for the past sixty-five years. The Kashmiris also seem determined to sustain the sentiment despite all odds. Mufti Sayeed is a small player but is getting consumed along with his party in the name of restoration of so-called peace in Jammu and Kashmir.