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J&K HC asks state govt to release separatist leader Masarat Alam, again


The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday quashed the detention under Public Safety Act (PSA) of hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam who was arrested in April 2015 for allegedly hoisting Pakistani flag and chanting anti-national slogans.

Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar quashed the PSA detention of the 45-year-old separatist leader, Alam's counsel Mian Abdul Qayoom said. Alam was arrested on April 17 in connection with the raising of Pakistani flags and chanting of anti-national slogans during a rally organised by hardline Hurriyat Conference faction to welcome its leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani from New Delhi.

Police had registered a case against several separatist leaders, including Alam and Hurriyat Conference hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for provocative activities including hoisting of Pakistani flag.

An FIR No under section 13 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, relevant sections of Ranbir Penal Code was registered in Budgam police station against Alam and other separatist leaders. Alam was released in March 2015 - soon after the PDP-BJP government came to power - after over four years of detention in connection with the 2010 summer agitation in the Valley.

Alam's release had created a furore across the country and the issue had even figured in Parliament with Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a statement on the floor of the House.

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