New Delhi: Mehbooba Mufti, senior PDP leader and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's daughter, justified the release of separatist leader Masarat Alam by saying if Afzal Guru can be hanged on Supreme Court's order then why not Masarat can be freed on a court's order.
Talking to a private TV channel in Delhi on Saturday, Mehbooba said that Masarat never used a gun and was a product of the 2010 stone-pelting unrest which he had spearheaded.
She said that the Mufti government was only upholding a Supreme Court order by freeing the separatist.
Alam's release last week had rocked Parliament and prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare that it was "unacceptable". The move brought BJP-PDP alliance in the state at the verge of break down. Following the controversy, Mufti government assured the centre that it would not free any more separatist leader without its consent.
"Nothing wrong," she said at the India Today Conclave when asked if she thinks Alam's release was wrong, a development which has strained PDP's ties with coalition partner BJP.
"If upholding the direction of the Supreme Court is wrong, then what do we do?... You are trying to subvert your own Supreme Court when it comes to Kashmir. How can you do that?," she wondered, referring to a court direction that Alam could be further detained only if there are fresh grounds for doing so.
The combative PDP leader, who asserted that PDP-BJP alliance was driven by the mandate, said there should not be "double standards" over court judgments.
"You pick up number 28 on the list and hang Afzal Guru and say it's SC judgment but when the same SC says release Alam who is being held without charge you question it," she said.
"I wish when Masarat Alam was released that people should have been debating how the Supreme Court has evolved to the extent... that it has given a judgment entirely contrary to what is the security mindset in the country.
"Masarat Alam would not acknowledge it but I am sure he in his heart of hearts or people around him would be talking 'Oh God, this is the Indian Supreme Court," she said.
(With inputs from PTI)