Normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir after Masrat Alam's release

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Jammu/Srinagar, March 9: Though the ruckus that followed the controversial release of separatist leader Masrat Alam continued to ruffle feathers in the national capital on Monday, normalcy prevailed in Jammu and Kashmir.

Life remained normal in the state despite a two-day shutdown call given by the Panthers Party in Jammu against the release of Masrat Alam at state Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed's orders.

JK

Shops, other business establishments, government offices, banks, post offices and public transport operated normally in Jammu city and other parts of the Jammu region and across Kashmir.

The shutdown call had little effect on life in Jammu, where BJP leaders, including the ministers in the ruling coalition, refused to speak to the media on the controversy created by the separatist leader's release.

However, state BJP president and parliamentarian Jugul Kishore said: "We were not asked before releasing Masrat Alam. If they had asked us, we would not have given approval from our side on this and even today our consent is not with this decision."

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi told parliament that he was equally concerned over the development since the issue was related to the country's security, the respective leaderships of the BJP and PDP in the state maintained silence over the issue.

Modi's assertion that he had not been consulted before releasing the separatist leader has put a question mark on the PDP statement that the BJP was on board regarding the separatist release.

Masrat Alam told reporters in Srinagar: "Mufti Sayeed should not try to take political mileage out of it. I was released through a normal legal procedure since my Public safety Act (PSA) detention was about to end in the next two to three days."

He also said that his release should not be turned into a political issue.

"What difference does it make if one person is released when there are thousands languishing in jails," he said while denying that he had been responsible for the killings of youths during the 2010 unrest in the Valley.

"It was Omar Abdullah and not me who is responsible for those killings," Alam said.

IANS

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