Srinagar: Muslim League chairman and general secretary of the Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Geelani, Masarat Alam Bhat, was produced on Wednesday before the Forest Court, Srinagar, in 2006 case.
Advocate Shabir Ahmed Bhat, who represents the Muslim League chairman, submitted before court that Alam should be shifted from Jammu jail to Srinagar as his health condition is not good and also because his 35th PSA has been quashed by the High Court on October 27. Putting him in Kotbalwal Jail, Jammu, is therefore unwarranted, he said.
Bhat also said that “the trial of the case is in Srinagar, so he needs to present here”.
The court while hearing the case observed that the 35th PSA’s quashing orders should be handed over to the Kotbalwal Jail authorities, and if he is not needed in any case there, the court will take the present plea into consideration.
The next hearing of the case is listed on November 22.
Meanwhile, Muslim League Jammu Kashmir has expressed deep concern over the deteriorating health of its chairman Masarat Alam Bhat in Kot Balwal Jail, Jammu.
A spokesperson of the League, Sajad Ayoubi, said Alam is already suffering from several ailments and has to go through a weekly medical check-up, as per doctors’ advice.
Ayoubi said since Masarat has been shifted to Jammu jail, his health has severely deteriorated. He said the main motive behind the ML chairman’s incarceration is to make him suffer mentally and to keep him away from the political movement of right to self-determination.
First arrested in June 1990, Masarat has spent more than 18 years in jails across J&K and India. A League member told Kashmir Reader that at last 64 FIRs are registered against Masarat, who is accused of orchestrating the massive public uprising of 2010 in various districts of J&K.
After his release in 1991, Masarat was again detained in 1993 and then released in 1996. The following year, he underwent interrogation at several police detention centres, the League member added. Masarat, he said, was again arrested in 1999 and driven to Jodhpur jail in Rajasthan along with Syed Ali Geelani, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and others. They were then released in 2000, ahead of US president Bill Clinton’s visit to India, he said.
He said that since 2006, Masarat Alam was continuously under arrest till May 2008. He was released in May 2008, following which he led the protests, he said. Masarat was again arrested in the same year and next released in early 2010. When the protests following the killing of Tufail Mattoo started, Masarat began issuing protest calendars and was arrested again on September 9, 2010. Since then he is behind bars, except for a period of 40 days when he was released in 2015 and subsequently rearrested on April 9, the League member said.
The 47-year-old Masarat has been booked under PSA for a total of 35 times. All the PSA orders were quashed, revoked or at times they expired, but he continued to be in jail.