2 clerics, 5 activists of Jamat-e-Islami arrested under PSA in Kashmir: Police
The two clerics, Abdul Rashid Dawoodi and Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri, are influential preachers with a large following on social media
SRINAGAR:Two prominent clerics and five members of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami(JeI).have been arrested in Jammu and Kashmir under the Public Safety Act (PSA) which allows the authorities to detain suspects for up to two years, police said.
“Two religious persons (Molvis) and five JeI activists arrested under PSA,” said additional director general of police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar.
The two clerics, Abdul Rashid Dawoodi and Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri, are influential preachers with a large following on social media. Dawoodi, a Barelvi scholar, is head of ‘Tehreek e Soutul Auliya’ based in south Kashmir’s Anantnag while Veeri is a religious leader of Jamiat ahle Hadees (JaH) in Anantnag. Veeri was booked under PSA in 2019,
Police haven’t cited any details including the allegations or the identity of the alleged JeI activists that led them to invoke PSA against the seven people.
The Centre banned the Jamaat-e-Islami in February 2019 on the ground that the group was “in close touch” with terrorist groups and was expected to “escalate secessionist movement”in Jammu and Kashmir. The ban was imposed five months before the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked.
Lawyer Zahid Ali, a former JeI spokesperson, is among those arrested by the authorities, his family said. “Yesterday police came and asked him to come to the police station. He has been arrested and has not returned home,” said the family member who answered a call on his mobile phone.
The arrests triggered harsh reactions including from Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and spokesperson of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), M Y Tarigami.
“There are reports about the detention of three well-known religious clerics. The move is rather deplorable and bound to deepen the uncertainty further,” said Tarigami in a tweet.
Former vice-chairman J&K Waqf Board and senior People’s Conference leader, Nizamuddin Bhat appealed to the Union home minister and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to reconsider the decision to arrest the clerics.
“Jammu and Kashmir has been witness to various problems and makes a special case for a just and liberal view in respect of people influenced by political discourses. In the past a reconciliatory approach had been adopted…,” he said.
Bhat also sought the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission in cases of “prolonged and excessive hunt of youth”