Following is the text of the statement made on Thursday by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in both the Houses of Parliament:
“I had made a Statement based on the report received from the Government of Jammu & Kashmir on 9th March, 2015 regarding the release of separatist Masarat Alam Bhat I had also mentioned that more information in this regard is being collected from the State Government. We have received a further report from the State Government in the matter.”
The State Government has informed that 27 criminal cases are continuing against Masarat Alam Bhat. Masarat Alam Bhat has been booked 8 times, since February, 2010 under Section 8 of the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act of 1978. The last such detention order was issued by the District Magistrate, Jammu on 15.09.2014. Such detention order issued by the District Magistrate, Jammu is to be approved by the State Government within 12 days of the issuance of such detention order as per Section 8(4) of the Public Safety Act.. The detention order issued by the District Magistrate, Jammu on 15.09.2014 was received in the Home Department of Jammu & Kashmir on 09.10.2014 after the lapse of 23 days and hence the same could not be approved.
The State Government has further informed that there were no fresh grounds for detention as verified from the District Magistrate, Jammu. The grounds based on which earlier detention orders were, quashed by the Hon’ble High Court and this detention order contained the same old grounds of detention.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had also, in March 2013, observed that if any fresh detention order is issued by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir with respect to Masarat Alam Bhat, the same shall not come into force for a period of one week from the date of communication of the order to enable him to pursue appropriate legal remedy.
After some correspondence with the District Magistrate, Jammu and State Law Department, the State Government wrote to the District Magistrate, Jammu on 04.02.2015 vide their letter No. Home/PD/01/2014 dated 4.2.2015 informing that the detention order dated 15.09.2014 issued by him ceased to remain in force The District Magistrate, Jammu was further informed that a fresh order can, however, be issued for detention of the detainee after following the procedure prescribed in the Public Safety Act and directions of the Hon’bie Supreme Court.
Thereafter, the detenue was released on 07.03.2015.
The State Government has also informed that a proper system is in place to have an effective surveillance over Masarat Alam Bhat’s activities. As and when anything adverse surfaces, appropriate action as envisaged by law will be taken. The intelligence apparatus and local police work in tandem thereby facilitating planning of advance and adequate deployment of law and order components for maintenance of peace and order in areas likely to be visited by Masarat Alam Bhat and other separatist elements.
The Home Ministry has issued an advisory to the Government of Jammu & Kashmir on the following lines:
(i) All 27 criminal cases registered against Masarat Alam Bhat will be pursued vigorously and steps also taken as per law to challenge the orders pertaining to grant of bail to him in such cases.
(ii) A close surveillance must be ensured on such of the activities of Masarat Alam Bhat and his Other associates and followers, which are detrimental to public order or the unity and integrity of the country in general and the State of Jammu & Kashmir in particular. Anything coming to adverse notice must be promptly reviewed in the light of the Public Safety Act and appropriate action taken immediately.
(iii) The State Government will ensure that the surveillance and monitoring of the activities of Masarat Alam Bhat and his associates and followers as mentioned above, is done in close tandem with the Central Government security and intelligence agencies in the larger interest of maintaining peace and public order and normalcy in the State.”