Firebrand separatist leader Masarat Alam was released from Kathua prison in Jammu on Thursday evening and taken back into police custody immediately.
The development came two days after the state HC quashed his detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and ordered his release.
A senior officer at Kathua jail confirmed that Alam, chairman of the Muslim League, a constituent of the Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, was released from jail in the evening.
But sources said soon after he walked out of prison, he was re-arrested and reportedly taken to the joint interrogation centre (JIC), Jammu. Further details were awaited at the time of filing this report.
Quashing the PSA detention earlier this week, justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar had held Alam’s detention illegal on several grounds. While passing the judgment, the court said, “Even in the face of extreme provocations, the laws of the land are to be implemented. Laws possess unique quality, in as much as, they, even at times, protect those who break them. Thus, they prove to be better than many human beings.”
Such a cycle is not new for Alam. He was detained under PSA for the first time on October 2, 1990, and since then, has been booked under the Act 34 times by successive governments, sources close to him said.
Lashing out at the state machinery, Alam’s counsel Mian Abdul Qayoom said, “How many times will this man be detained on the same grounds? If you say there is rule of law, there is legal procedure that one has to follow, then why is that not followed in his case? He is not found guilty by any court. There is no conviction order against him. There is no sentence ordered against him. There is no case in which he has been found guilty. What kind of democracy is this?”