Indian police re-arrest Masarrat Aalam Butt

Jammu, December 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, Indian police re-arrested senior Hurriyet leader, Masarrat Aalam Butt, outside Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu, today, after he was released on the orders of the High Court of the territory. A senior police officer told media men in Jammu that Masarrat Aalam was re-arrested outside Kot Bhalwal Jail. Earlier, a single bench of High Court, Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar quashed Masarrat Aalam Butt’s illegal detention under the black law, Public Safety Act (PSA), and ordered his release.

“The laws are sacred as they protect the rights of the people. It becomes the duty of the court to enforce the law of the land even in extreme circumstances,” Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar observed in his order, and quashed the detention orders passed against the Hurriyet leader on September 1 and November 30 respectively. “The respondents (government) are directed to release the detainee ( Masarrat Aalam) from preventive custody,” the order said.

The senior Hurriyet leader was booked under the PSA on September 1 for three months. Later, the authorities had ordered his detention for three more months with effect from December 1. The two orders were passed while Masarrat Aalam was behind the bars. His counsel, advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, said that the authorities had abused their authority while passing these detention orders.

The fresh detention orders were passed despite observations by the High Court that the PSA law has been operated against Masarrat Aalam in an unfair, unjust and unreasonable manner. “Preventive detention is undemocratic and repugnant to rule of law. It violates the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence, which stresses on presumption of innocence of the accused till he is proved guilty in a fair and transparent trial,”

Justice Hasnain Masoodi had said in his 17-page judgment while quashing Aalm’s previous detention – which was the resistance leader’s 20th such detention – under the PSA in the past 25 years. The senior Hurriyet leader who was released after a 53-month long unlawful detention on March 7, 2015, was rearrested on April 17 and booked under the PSA by the PDP-BJP regime.

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