Security and surveillance around recently-released hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam has been beefed up to keep close tabs on his movement and political moves in Srinagar.
In the backdrop of fresh directions from the Centre, hardline Hurriyat warned of dire consequences in case any harm is done to Alam.
The fresh advisory from the Central asked the state government to bring Alam under tight security spotlight given his role in the past two street agitations of 2008 and 2010.
Sources in the Jammu and Kashmir police told the HT that “it is leaving no stone unturned to allow Alam to go out of the security radar”.
Alam has joined the high-profile separatist leaders like hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Both the separatist leaders remain under constant security vigil.
These leaders are mostly put under house arrest in case of threat to law and order situation in the wake of their political programmes.
The security forces maintain a diary of those visiting to Geelani’s Srinagar residence and most days a security contingent is kept stand by there. Geelani is currently in New Delhi due to ailing health.
In case of Alam, whose release on March 4 triggered a political storm in New Delhi, the security agencies have standing direction to go for “prompt Public Safety Act (PSA), which bars bails for six months, in case anything comes to their adverse notice.”
The move is made to stop Alam’s from galvanising any street protests like in the past, said sources.
Forty-two year old Alam’s release, after the state and union home departments failed to provide fresh grounds for seventh PSA, has pushed coalition partners BJP and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to a precarious situation, after opposition and BJP in New Delhi launched a scathing attack on chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for his “unilateral decision”.
Family sources told HT that Alam is not planning any political programme immediately and is not keeping well.
He has a number of ailments including diabetes, uneven bold pressure and higher levels of cholesterol, said Alam’s friend on the condition of anonymity.
Alam, whose party Muslim League is a constituent member of hardline Hurriyat, told the HT that he will follow only political programmes of Geelani in the future.
Meanwhile, Geelani’s group on Thursday expressed apprehensive over Alam’s wellbeing. “There will be dire consequences if there is any move to harm Alam. It’s a deliberate design to portray Alam as a dangerous person and a terrorist,” said Hurriyat spokesman.