Jammu & Kashmir

Imran Khan condoles demise of Hurriyat leader Ashraf Sehrai

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan expressed deep grief and sorrow over the demise of Hurriyat leader Ashraf Sehrai whose health started deteriorating at Kot Bhalwal jail, where he was facing detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA), and passed away at GMC Jammu on Wednesday.

On his Twitter handle, Khan posted: “Deeply saddened by demise of Kashmiri ldr (leader) Ashraf Sehrai in illegal Indian custody.”

He further said that “India’s oppression of Kashmiris was a blot on international community’s collective conscience”.

“We will continue to support Kashmiris’ just struggle for right to self-determination in acc (accordance) with UNSC Resolutions,” he said in the tweet.

In July 2020, Sehrai was arrested from his residence in Srinagar by the Jammu and Kashmir (JK) Police and was lodged at Udhampur Jail.

He was elected as the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, a constituent of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, which was previously headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The Hurriyat leader was laid to rest at martyrs’ graveyard in his ancestral village in Tekipora Lolab on Thursday early morning.

The authorities anticipating large participation had put restrictions on the entry of outside people even as disallowing the local residents from participating in the last rites of the departed leader on apprehensions of law and order situation coupled with prevailing COVID situation.

The mortal remains of Sehraie reached his native village in Tekipora Lolab at around 4:00 am after being ferried back from Jammu on Wednesday evening.

Family sources said that limited people, mainly some close relatives, participated in the funeral prayers with adherence to all necessary protocols.

The Hurriyat leader was shifted from Udhampur jail to GMC hospital Jammu on Tuesday after complaining of chest pain and eventually succumbed a day later. Dr A D S Manhas Medical Superintendent, Medical College Hospital, Jammu, confirmed the death of the senior Hurriyat Conference leader.

Sehrai is survived by his wife three sons – Khalid Ashraf, Rashid Ashraf and Mujahid Ashraf – and two daughters.

Sehrai’s son Junaid joined militancy immediately after he was elected as chairman of the TeH — a political party Geelani had founded with Sehrai after parting ways from their parent organisation Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir — after Geelani’s resignation in 2018. Junaid was killed in an military operation in Srinagar on May 19 last year.

Sehrai was detained last year and booked under Public Safety Act. The 76-year-old was considered as a strong contender to take over as chief of the Hurriyat Conference after its former chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in a letter, announced his dissociation from the amalgam.


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