Supporters of separatist Masarat Alam, who was controversially released from prison recently, waved Pakistani flags and raised pro-Pakistan slogans at a rally in Srinagar today. The BJP has demanded immediate action and asked why the rally was allowed.
The rally was organised by Masarat Alam to welcome Hurriyat Conference hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani back to the Valley after several months in Delhi. As hundreds of Mr Alam's supporters marched through the city and right in front of the office of the state's Director General of Police, several of them waved Pakistan flags.
Following the incident, the Jammu and Kashmir Police registered a case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Mr Alam, Mr Geelani and other separatist leaders present at the rally.
"It is highly objectionable and condemnable. The slogans which were raised were pro Pakistan and Pakistan flags, it is unacceptable. Mufti should take cognizance of it so that message clearly goes out to Pakistan supporters that it will not be accepted," said the BJP's GVL Narasimha Rao today.
There is expected to be renewed criticism of the decision to release Masarat Alam from jail. When he was released Opposition parties attacked the BJP-led central government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in the Lok Sabha, "I also lend my voice to the outrage on the release of the separatist... this is not one party's outrage, it is the nation's outrage."
The PDP is yet to react.
Cracks have showed from day 1, when the Mufti had thanked "people from across the border" - seen as a reference to Pakistan - and militants for allowing smooth elections in the state, hours after he was sworn in.