STATE TIMES NEWS Srinagar: Separatist leader and chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TEH) Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai was on Sunday detained by police from his residence here and is likely to be booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA), officials said. They said a police party detained Sehrai from his residence at Baghat-e-Barzulla here early this morning and he was taken to police station Saddar. Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbagh Singh said that Sehrai and some members of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami 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 Jamaat-e-Islami (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 Umer Farooq, who has favoured dialogue as a means to end the violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Seharai’s son, Junaid Sehrai, a divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahdeen, was killed in an encounter in Nawakadal area of the city in May this year. 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.
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