Several Jama’at members also arrested in fresh crackdown
Srinagar: Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chief Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai was arrested by police on Sunday. Sehrai was taken into custody from his residence at Baghat in Srinagar early in the morning and then booked under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). The PSA allows the government to detain him up to a year without trial. The grounds of his detention have not been made public yet.
The development follows days after Syed Ali Geelani quit the Hurriyat Conference as a chairman.
Sehrai’s son, Junaid, who joined militant ranks and became a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, was killed in an encounter with government forces in Srinagar in May.
Sehrai’s other son, Rashid, said the government will be responsible if anything happens to his ailing father in prison.
“Police came around 5:30 am and asked for my father and took him along. Then I went to the police station with his vlclothes and medicines, as he is suffering from many diseases. Later the DGP announced in a tweet that PSA has been slapped on him. The officials told me that my father has been lodged in Udhampur,” Rashid Sehrao told news agency KNS.
Kashmir Reader has learnt that police have also launched a crackdown against Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI), a political-religious organisation banned last year by the government. Sources said that since July 8, police have summoned a number of leaders to police stations and booked them.
“Some of them are under incarceration,” the sources added. “Among them are Advocate Zahid Ali, Mushtaq Wani, Khursheed Sanai.”
The head of the banned Jama’at, Dr Hameed Fayaz, remains jailed since last year, while Abdul Rahman Shahin and Sikander have been rearrested.
A similar crackdown on separatist and JeI leaders was launched by the police ahead of the Government of India’s move to abrogate Article 370 last year in August. Most of the top separatist leaders are still either under house arrest or in custody.
Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh told PTI that Sehrai and some members of the banned Jama’at-e-Islami have been detained and are likely to be booked under the stringent PSA.