Kupwara, May 06 : Amid tight security arrangements, prominent separatist leader and chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard in Tekipora, Lolab in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district before dawn on Thursday.
Officials told news agency—Kashmir News Observer that the body of veteran separatist leader, who was in detention under the Public Safety Act(PSA), reached his native area at 3:00 am from Jammu.
“Around 15 persons from his immediate family participated in the funeral prayers at 4: 15 am,” they said, adding that forces were deployed in large numbers in the area to prevent any untoward incident. Emotional scenes were witnessed as Sehrai’s son could be seen bidding adieu to his father after kissing his face repeatedly while other family members including some female ones were seen wailing and seeking forgiveness from the deceased before the 77-year-old leader was laid to rest.
Witnesses said there was a heavy security deployment made around the graveyard and all major roads were sealed with barbed wires to prevent large gatherings at Sehrai’s funeral.
Muhammad Ashraf Khan famously know as Ashraf Sehrai passed away on Wednesday at Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu a day after he was shifted there from Udhampur jail, where he was detained under Public Safety Act.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar tweeted that burial of separatist leader late Ashraf Sehrai was completed as per Covid protocol in presence of his family members at his native place.
Sehrai was born in 1944 in Tekipora village of Lolab in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. After completing his graduation from Aligarh Muslim University, Sehrai remained associated with Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI).
Sehrai was a popular leader in his native district much before the outbreak of armed conflict in J&K. He secured 26 percent of votes in Kupwara assembly segment in 1987 polls as Muslim United Front (MUF)candidate.
In 2018, Sehrai was elected as the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, a constituent of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, which was previously headed by Geelani. Sehrai’s younger son, Junaid Khan, was a militant associated with Hizbul Mujahideen and was killed in a gunfight in Srinagar on May 19, 2020—(KNO)