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J&K releases separatist after four years

Jammu and Kashmir government tonight released dreaded Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam who has dozens of cases including waging of war against him and also carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to his arrest.

44-year-old Alam, who had spearheaded stone-pelting agitations here between 2008 and 2010, was brought out of Baramulla district jail and taken to Shaheed Gunj police station where he was handed over to his family members, official sources said here. Alam, once considered a confidante of hardline Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was a prize catch in 2010 when he had been issuing calenders for hartals and stone pelting.

He went underground when police went after him for his anti-national activities. Alam was apprehended in Harwan area on the outskirts of the city in October, 2010 in an operation in which police and central agencies had been tracking every detail of his movement in the city.

His release follows the order of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who after taking over the reins on March 1, had directed that all political prisoners be freed from jail.

When it was pointed out that there were only a few including Masarat Alam, who was arrested earlier as a political prisoner, the Chief Minister ordered his release. 
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