Nearly two months after hardline Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam Bhat was arrested, Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday strongly opposed his shifting from a Jammu jail to the Valley.
"There are reasonable apprehensions that shifting of the petitioner (Bhat) to any jail in Kashmir province would have serious adverse impact on the ongoing efforts being made for the improvement in the overall security environment in the state, especially keeping in view the tourist season and upcoming Amarnath Yatra," the state government said in a compliance report filed by the home department.
The report said the "plea of the petitioner is found devoid of merits for various reasons, in particular the fragile law and order scenario and hence cannot be acceded to."
45-year-old Bhat was arrested on April 17 from his home in Habbakadal area of Srinagar in connection with hoisting of Pakistani flags and raising of pro-Pakistan slogans during a rally organsied here to welcome Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Bhat, who spearheaded 2010 summer agitation, was released in March after four-and-a-half year detention. Soon after his arrest, he was again booked under Public Safety Act and lodged at Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu following which he approached the high court seeking his shifting to Central Jail Srinagar or any of the district jails within Kashmir valley.
On June 2, the high court had directed the government to consider shifting Bhat to Central Jail here, or any of district jails within Kashmir province by June 11.