Srinagar(PTI): The Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government has booked the Hurriyat hardliner and face of 2010 'Azadi' groundswell Masarat Alam for waging war against the state, an offence which is punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The state government on Wednesday vociferously opposed granting bail to Alam on grounds that the case is too serious to allow a person like him to walk out of jail.
Earlier, the police had registered a case under sections 13 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting), 341 (wrongful restraint), 336 (does any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life), 427 (commits mischief) of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) against Alam, Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Peer Saifullah and other separatist leaders.
Later, under pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party and other parties, Mufti government charged Alam with waging war against the state under section 121 RPC.
Alam was arrested on April 17, two days after he shouted pro-Pakistan slogans and called for a merger with Pakistan. This was during a rally to welcome Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in which his supporters, too, unfurled Pakistani flags.
Alam had challenged the case and moved an application for bail in the Budgam court. After listening to the arguments, the court has slotted the next hearing on Saturday, in which it will pronounce judgment on Alam's bail application.
"The state opposed the bail application on the grounds that some offences carry death or life imprisonment. Therefore the state prayed that bail application should be rejected", Shabir Ahmad, counsel for Alam told dna.
Ahmad noted that the defence has argued that these offences can't be made out since Alam has not done any action which is indicative of waging war against the state.
"We argued that these offences cannot be made out. You cannot book a political worker and charge him under section 121 RPC. You cannot wage war by just speeches. There should be follow-up action for such offence," he said.
Hurriyat Conference, led by Geelani, said if waving of the Pakistani flag was a case of "waging war against India" then India has to file charges against millions of Kashmiri people.
"Whether it is Pakistan's national day or a cricket match which Pakistan plays, every child of Kashmir expresses his happiness over their win," said Ayaz Akbar, Hurriyat spokesman.