SRINAGAR: Senior Kashmiri separatist leader and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai was arrested by police in Srinagar on Sunday morning.
A police party visited Sehrai’s home at Barzulla Baghat at around 5.30 am and arrested him.
Sehrai has been under house arrest since August 5, when centre scrapped J&K’s special status and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature).
Sources said Sehrai has reportedly been booked under stringent Public Safety Act.
Under the PSA, a person can be detained without trial for three months and the detention can be extended upto two years.
Sehrai became the chairman of Tehreek-i-Hurriyat, a separatist party floated by Syed Ali Geelani in 2004 after his differences with his parent organization Jamaat-e-Islami.
He is a close aide of Geelani, had taken over as chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat after Geelani stepped down as head of the party in 2018.
After Geelani recently made the surprising decision of quitting separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference of which he was lifetime chairman, Sehrai was expected to take over as the new one.
After the 2003 split of united Hurriyat Conference – there are two factions of Hurriyat conference – a hardline which was led by Geelani and moderate led by cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Sehrai’s son Junaid Sehrai, who was an MBA graduate, had joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 2018 and was killed alongwith his associate in an encounter with security forces in Nawa Kadal area of Srinagar on May 19 this year. Junaid was divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.