Jammu(PTI): The controversy on hardliner Masarat Alam’s release refuses to die down. Equipped with communication between district magistrate, Jammu and home department of J&K government, union home minister Rajnath Singh is expected to launch a frontal attack on Omar Abdullah government for being instrumental in the release of Masarat Alam.
The letters virtually prove that it was the delay in the communication that resulted in Alam’s detention becoming non-est and was eventually responsible for his release. Rajnath Singh is expected bring this fact in a suo-motu statement in the parliament on Thursday.
Landing former chief minister Omar Abdullah in further trouble, a former top cop Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, who was senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Srinagar during 2010 ‘azadi’ groundswell, purportedly claimed that Omar Abdullah wanted Masarat Alam dead and not alive.
Bukhari, who was posted by Omar in Srinagar at the height of agitation in 2010, was instrumental in arresting Masarat Alam, who was the face of the protests, in October that year.
Five years on, Bukhari broke his silence and claimed that he was awarded by Omar for the exemplary work done to quell protests. But what sparked the angry reaction from human rights groups and National Conference was his purported statement that Omar allegedly asked him “why he got Alam alive and not bumped him off” instead.
Bukhari however later denied the statement saying he never claimed that he was asked to kill Alam.
“It (eliminating Alam) is rubbish. I have not said it. I have said Omar Abdullah paid us Rs 15 lakh as cash reward and seven persons were given out of turn promotion for arresting Alam. During my period as SSP Srinagar I received Rs 1.5 crore reward for the good work because in my jurisdiction there was no kllling after I joined in last week of June 2010”, he told dna.
Bukhari’s clarification notwithstanding, the statement has stirred a hornet’s nest in Jammu and Kashmir. Omar Abdullah’s National Conference has decided to take a legal action against Bukhari for “defamatory” statement against its working president.
“This person (Bukhari) has no credibility and objectivity. All these accusations and allegations are completely unfounded, untrue and defamatory. We are contemplating the future course of action. We are consulting our lawyers”, said Junaid Mattu, spokesman of National Conference.
Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a human rights group, said today’s revelations must lead to a public accountability of all cash rewards given to armed forces, including police, who as Indian state mercenaries have committed crimes in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The corruption that fuels crimes must be investigated, along with the crimes themselves. As an immediate step, ex-SSP Ashiq Bukhari must stand by his statements and we will file a case against then chief minister Omar Abdullah”, said a spokesperson of JKCCS.