Srinagar: The top resistance leadership has once again been barred from moving out of their homes on a day when billions of Muslims across the globe will be celebrating the festival of Eid-ul-Azha.
The 88-year-old Syed Ali Geelani will spend his 17th Eid in a row inside his home in Hyderpora, disallowed from stepping outside. The ailing Hurriyat Conference chief has been restricted to his residence since the 2010 uprising and has been only allowed to move out during medical emergencies. He was recently admitted to hospital after his haemoglobin level was consistently going down.
Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Secretary General of the Geelani-led Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH), has been detained in his house at Baghat for several months now.
Spoken of a “hard nut to crack”, Sehrai, when free, is not even allowed to enter the office premises of TeH. “Sehrai has not been allowed to attend special prayers on Eid since 2016. He has only offered Friday prayers three or four times since Hizb ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed on July 8, 2016,” an activist of TeH said.
Secretary General (III) of Hurriyat Conference and chief of Muslim League, Masarat Aalam Bhat, is behind bars since 2010. He was freed for only 40 days in 2015.
Bhat inspired the popular “Ragda” protests in 2008 and is believed to be the architect of the anti-India uprising in 2010.
The chief of the all-women resistance outfit – Dukhtaran-i-Millat (DeM) – Asiya Andrabi has been again jailed in Jammu despite the court quashing the Public Safety Act (PSA) order under which she is detained in Amphala jail in Jammu. Asiya and her aide, Fehmeeda Sofi, were admitted to Srinagar hospitals on Wednesday but have again been shifted to the jail in Jammu.
“We have lost count of the number of times that Asiya has been detained on the special occasion of Eid,” DeM Secretary General Nahida Nasreen told Kashmir Reader. “Since 2005, she has spent most of the Eids under detention.”
Nasreen also said that Asiya and Fehmeeda reached Amphala jail at about 4am on Friday. “We have no more details, nor have we been informed about the case under which she was taken to that jail after the court quashed the PSA order,” she added.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested seven leaders of the Hurriyat Conference – Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Peer Saifullah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Ayaz Akbar, Mehraj ud Din Kalwal, Shahid ul Islam and Bitta Karate. They are in Delhi and lodged in Tihar Jail.
Shabir Ahmad Shah, Secretary General (I) of the Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, is undergoing detention in Delhi after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 25, 2017. His wife and other family members were also summoned by ED in a case of alleged money laundering.
So far, both the NIA and ED have not filed a chargesheet in the cases against the detained leaders.
The two sons of Geelani were grilled for many days in Delhi in the same case, but they have been sent home by the NIA. “We will call you after Eid,” the NIA has reportedly told them.
“Not only our leaders,” said one TeH activist, “about 200 of our members are behind bars.”