Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) Chairperson Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai was arrested from his residence early on Sunday morning by Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) police and is likely to be booked under the Public Safety Act (according to reports by Indian media).
The TeH is a constituent of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). Sehrai’s arrest comes day after veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani quit the APHC, and ahead of Kashmir Martyrs’ Day which falls on Monday.
Around a dozen members of the Jamaat-e-Islami were also reportedly taken under custody by police.
Speaking to media, TeH leader in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Muhammad Safi confirmed Sehrai’s arrest.
Sehrai was under house arrest at his residence in Baghaat Barzulla in Srinagar since August 5, 2019, said Safi.
Sehrai’s son, Junaid Sehrai, a district commander of a separatist group, was martryed earlier this year by Indian occupational forces in Nawakadal, Srinigar.
Safi appealed to the international community to take notice of the arrests of senior Kashmiri leaders. He termed Sehrai’s arrest a human rights violation.
After authorities in the IOJ&K decided to abandon the seven-decade-old practice of observing July 13 as a national day, Azad Jammu and Kashmir has announced to mark the day with gaiety and fervor.
The day to commemorate the people killed in a revolt against the Hindu king in 1931, had been declared a national day soon after the birth of India and Pakistan in 1947 and was observed by all sections cutting across political and ideological affiliations.
The function was held every year officially in the downtown locality of Srinagar in the premises of the martyr’s graveyard, with a guard of honor, and the chief minister and other political leaders laying wreath on graves.
But after the August 5 decision last year, when India revoked the special status of the region, it also removed July 13 from among the days of remembrance.