Released Kashmiri resistance leader Bhat is re-arrested

Police seize Masrat Bhat shortly after his release from prison following a four-year term.

Released Kashmiri resistance leader Bhat is re-arrested

World Bulletin / News Desk

Masrat Alam Bhat, a senior resistance leader in Indian-held Kashmir, has been immediately re-arrested by police after being freed by a court following a four-year jail term.

Bhat was initially released after his party, the Muslim League, applied to a magistrate in Srinagar for bail.

But immediately after his release around noon on Saturday, police raided his house in Habba Kadal in Srinagar's old city and re-arrested him.

“Police arrested Masrat Alam Bhat from his house on Saturday,” a police spokesperson told Anadolu Agency.

Bhat was one of the most active participants and organizers of the 2010 summer mass uprisings in Indian-held Kashmir which shut down the valley for six months, during which hundreds of thousands of people protested on the streets and youth threw stones at the Indian Armed forces.

The Indian police killed more than 112 Kashmiri civilian protestors and wounded hundreds of people by firing into the crowds in a bid to curb the protests.

Bhat was arrested by the police in October 2010, in an arrest that the authorities hailed as a "major breakthrough".

He was charged with orchestrating the 2010 protests and instigating youths to throws stones and pursue violence against the state.

Detention quashed

During Bhat’s four years in jail, the State Government charged him under the Public Safety Act 10 times.

The PSA is regarded with dread in Indian-held Kashmir, as it allows the Indian government to keep any Kashmiri under arrest for up to two years without the right to a trial.

The Kashmir High Court quashed Bhat's detention each time, but the government would respond with another PSA charge.

Indian-held Kashmir's most senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani, condemned the re-arrest of Bhat, saying it was an act of political vengeance by India against an individual and that the Government was treating resistance leaders with cruelty.

"Bhat's continuous imprisonment has no constitutional, legal or moral justification and is nothing but vengeance," he said.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.

The two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in IHK have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict to date.

Last Mod: 15 Haziran 2014, 09:56
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