The state government has rebuffed the release of hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat, who has recently applied for bail in the case of Pakistan flag hoisting in a provocative rally in the valley.
The bail application of the anti national has been opposed and described as a habitual offender. The government has told the Chief Judicial Magistrate Budgam, that his activities are against the sovereignty of India and his release on bail at this juncture will threaten the sovereignty and integrity of India. The 45 year old anti national leader was arrested from his residence in Habbakadal area of Srinagar, two days after he raised pro-Pakistan slogans and flags at a rally on April 15 in order to welcome the Hurriyat chief, Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Masarat’s release was insisted upon by the CM Mufti and the leader was released after four years detention on March 7, which had created a row throughout the state and the central leadership. Mufti-led state government has submitted in their objections that the offences are heinous in nature and non-bailable so bail cannot be claimed as a matter of right.
CJM Kamlesh Pandita had directed the police on March 18 to file its report and also direct the prosecution to submit it objections to the bail applications. While registering an FIR at the Budgam Police Station against Geelani, Masarat and his anti national cadre after raising the flag in a provocative rally held, the state government had defended the arrest by issuing a handout stating that the leader was arrested for seditious activities.
While filing its objection, the government also said that the offence under Section 121 of the RPC, which was skipped in the FIR earlier and has been added after his arrest, carries punishment of death or imprisonment to life and is also liable to fine if proved. Section 479 clearly restricts the powers of the court to release the accused on bail. The government also described Masarat as a habitual offender against whom 28 cases are registered by far and stated that his activities are against the security, peace and sovereignty of the state. The investigation of the case is however at the preliminary stage and the prosecution has been submitted that Masarat’s interrogation is still required by the police.