No change on the ground, says Masarat Alam

March 08, 2015 08:03 pm | Updated November 29, 2021 01:12 pm IST - SRINAGAR:

Hurriyat hardline leader Masarat Alam at home in Srinagar on Sunday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

Hurriyat hardline leader Masarat Alam at home in Srinagar on Sunday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

Senior separatist Masarat Alam, whose release has caused a row, said on Sunday that a change in government did not mean any change in the reality on the ground.

“Changing [the State] governments does not change the reality on the ground. It does not affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Only the people [of the State] can change it,” he told PTI , a day after he was freed after four-and-a-half years of detention.

Mr. Alam, leader of the Muslim League, rejected suggestions that there was a secret deal between him and the State government over his release, and it could lead to a dialogue between the Centre and the Separatists. “What is the big deal in my release? I have been going to and coming out of jails for the past 20 years. What is new in my release now,” he asked.

He said the government did him no favour as his release was part of a normal judicial process, and the term of his detention under the Public Safety Act had expired. He had been repeatedly booked under the Public Safety Act, though “I had been granted bail by courts”.

Asked whether his release marked the resumption of talks between the separatists and the government, Mr. Alam said a decision would be taken by the Hurriyat Conference. “We [the Muslim League] are part of the forum [the Hurriyat Conference]. Whatever decision the forum takes, I will follow it,” he said.

He was arrested in October 2010 at the end of an agitation that year.

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