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Keep close surveillance on Masrat, Centre asks Sayeed

Keep close surveillance on Masrat, Centre asks Sayeed

New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the Jammu and Kashmir government has been told to keep "close surveillance" on separatist leader Masrat Alam, whose release from jail had sparked a political furore.

Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh said the home ministry has issued an advisory to the state asking it to vigorously pursue all 27 criminal cases against him.

He said the central government has also asked the state government to take steps to challenge the bail granted to him.

"Close surveillance must be ensured on activities of Masrat Alam and his associates which are detrimental to public order," Rajnath Singh said.

He said anything adverse noticed by authorities should be reviewed in the light of the public safety act.

"The state (government) will ensure that surveillance of activities of Masrat Alam is done in close tandem with the central government, security and intelligence agencies in larger interest of peace, public order and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir," Rajnath Singh added.

The minister said he had earlier informed the house that the government was not satisfied with the state government's report on Alam's release.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Tuesday assured Rajnath Singh that no separatist would be released in future without taking their ally in the state, the BJP into confidence.

A serious crisis had developed between Sayeed's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - who are in power in Jammu and Kashmir - after Sayeed ordered the release of Alam without taking the BJP on board. Opposition parties in parliament had strongly criticized the decision and had sought a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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