New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre was not in the know nor was it consulted on Jammu and Kashmir government's decision to release Kashmiri hardliner Masarat Alam.
"We have no role to play in this,” Modi said, adding that he understood Parliament's angst over this 'unanimous' decision taken by ally PDP.
Modi said he would look into the matter as India's integrity and security cannot be questioned.
Modi also took the Opposition to task on allegations that the Prime Minister had remained quiet for too long on the matter. "You (Opposition) have the right to protest but we have no reason to be quiet. Please do not teach us patriotism,” he said.
Proceedings of the Parliament began on a stormy note on Monday with the Opposition cornering the government on the issue and demanding an explanation.
Clarifying the Centre’s stand on the issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that his government would never compromise with public safety and security.
“As soon as we received the news of his release, we sought a report from the Jammu and Kashmir government on the issue. We have received the report. If needed we will issue a strong advisory,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jailtey in Rajya Sabha said that the Centre will not compromise with national security.
Alam, who played a key role in organising the 2010 civil unrest in the Valley was released on Saturday after remaining incarcerated for four and a half years.
The move came days after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, instructed the police to immediately initiate the process of releasing all political prisoners against whom there are no criminal cases.
Alam is considered to be a close confidant of hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
During the 2010 unrest, Alam went underground forcing the police to announce a cash reward of Rs 1 million for information leading to his arrest. Upon his arrest from the outskirts of Srinagar City on October 18, 2010 after a four-month long hunt, the state authorities repeatedly slapped stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) on him saying he poses a serious threat to peace and national security.
The sources said the 42-year-old separatist leader was set free after the concerned authorities revoked the latest detention order issues against him under the PSA.