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'J&K alliance not a priority, national security is': Rajnath on Masarat release row

New Delhi: In the wake of the controversy over the release of separtist leader Masarat Alam, home minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday the Centre's priority is national security and not the government in Jammu

PTI [ Updated: March 10, 2015 16:59 IST ]
j k alliance not a priority national security is rajnath on
j k alliance not a priority national security is rajnath on masarat release row

New Delhi: In the wake of the controversy over the release of separtist leader Masarat Alam, home minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday the Centre's priority is national security and not the government in Jammu and Kashmir, where the BJP is a partner.

He was talking to reporters in New Delhi in the wake of the controversy over the release of separatist leader Masarat Alam by the J-K government last week.

In the face of protests by the opposition in Parliament, the minister said the government will not compromise with the security of the country which is a priority for the Centre. He also said the Centre is not satisfied with J-K government report on Alam's release and sought clarification.

The Centre has been pushed on the back foot over this issue with the opposition seeking an explanation on the issue in House. This led to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarifying on Monday that the Centre was not consulted on the matter.

On Tuesday, opposition parties stepped up pressure on the government over reports that the J-K government was planning to release 800 more separatists and sought to know if the state's Governor has mentioned this in his report to the Centre.

After Naresh Agarwal (Samajwadi Party) and others raised the issue in Rajya Sabha, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government was ready to respond to any specific case brought to its notice.

Agarwal also wanted to know whether the Centre could give an assurance that no more separatists will be released by the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government in J-K.

Rajeev Shukla (Congress) also sought to know if the orders for Alam's release were signed by the governor and if they were issued when the state was under President's rule.

AIADMK members claimed 10,000 separatist prisoners are about to be released in Jammu and Kashmir.

Arun Jaitley said home minister Rajnath Singh had on Monday made it absolutely clear that he had certain reservations about the report received from the state government on the release of one separatist and had sought more information.

Maintaining that the government will "find out and give response" if a specific case was given, he said "let a notice be given with  athentic facts. The House cannot be media-driven".

Meanwhile, PDP has said that the J-K govt will abide by the directives of the courts on the issue of release of political prisoners in the state.

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