The release of Masarat Alam has created a row in the state as well as the Centre lately. While his release has left BJP offended, it has, on the other hand pumped up Mufti’s facade in the valley. The release has credited the leader with propelled eminence and faith in the Kashmir valley, where people had been criticising the leader for stitching up an alliance with the BJP. The release, in addition to adding to his figure has given a hard blow to his political rivals- National Conference and Congress . Mufti has revamped his own image in the valley and has also exposed Omar Abdullah as the one who muffles dissent. Masarat Alam was arrested and jailed during 2010 anti India protests held in Kashmir and his release was issues by the court on six difference occasions but Omar led government continued to keep him in detention. Omar justified his decision of keeping him out of circulation saying that his government detained him, though it was no ideal but difficult situations had to be tackled. Mufti government however ratified the law of the land and complied with the court order to release him, putting Omar in bad light in the valley.
Mufti has served the state as the Chief Minister for three years and now he has started right from where he had left in 2005. In 2002, he had ordered the release of Hurriyat hardline, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah. Ironically, Geelani was put behind the bars by Omar’s father Farooq Abdullah in his tenure. Mufti with this stroke has silently declared that Omar lacked the courage of voicing people’s opinion and desires and had done nothing to bring peace to the valley. Geelani’s release had brought massive change in the security environment of Kashmir. People, who always wavered because of the fear of police, suddenly regenerated their faith in Mufti and felt a sense of security. Mufti had sent a clear message to the police to be people friendly, back in 2002 and is picking up again, right from the point he left.
During NC’s regime Police was the unbridled force, arresting anybody, using their might arbitrarily and Mufti had brought enough change in things to recast the mindset of people in his time. The police was no more a lawless force and the people were made to realise that.
Now again, he is continuing and pursuing the same agenda, becoming the voice of Kashmir. His warning against corruption in the administration has also sent shivers down the spine of many officials and a positive change is evident in just a few weeks.