Srinagar: Separatist leader and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai was detained on Sunday by police from his residence, and is likely to be booked under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978, officials said.
The officials said a police party detained Sehrai from his residence at Baghat Barzulla in Srinagar early this morning and took him to the police station.
Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh said that Sehrai and some members of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) have been detained and are likely to be booked under the stringent PSA which enables authorities to detain any individual for one year without trial.
Sehrai, a former JeI leader and a hardliner, is the chairman of TeH which was previously headed by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
TeH is a constituent of Hurriyat Conference which was headed by Geelani till he resigned from the amalgam last month.
Sehrai is believed to be eyeing heading the Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of 26 separatist parties.
This faction of the Hurriyat is different from the one led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who has favoured dialogue as a means to end the violence in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sehrai’s son, Junaid Sehrai, a divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in an encounter in Nawakadal area of Srinagar in May 2020.
The officials said several other JeI cadres are being picked up ahead of the first anniversary of the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Centre on August 5 last year abrogated Article 370 of the constitution which gave Jammu and Kashmir special status and divided the erstwhile state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
A similar crackdown on separatist and JeI leaders was launched by the police ahead of the Centre’s move last year. Most of the top separatist leaders are either under house arrest or in custody.