More persons, including two prominent religious scholars, were booked under the public safety act (PSA) in the Kashmir valley on Saturday.
Detained persons have been transferred to Jammu.
Firebrand speaker Sarjan Barkati was arrested from his Shopian house. Similarly, four religious preachers were detained in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town, including Auqaf president Nazir Ahmad Khan. All of the arrested persons have been booked under PSA and shifted to Jammu.
Seven persons belonging to different schools of thought or religious groups were arrested on Friday, including Barelvi, Jamiat ahle Hadees (JaH) or Salafi groups as well as the banned Jamaat-e-Islami group (JeI).
Two among the seven are Abdul Rashid Dawoodi and Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri, preachers who have 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, who was booked under PSA in 2019 also, is a religious leader of Jamiat ahle Hadees (JaH) in Anantnag.
“Two religious persons (Maulvi) and five JeI activists were arrested under PSA,” Vijay Kumar, additional director general of police, Kashmir, told Hindustan Times.
The authorities are tight-lipped about the reasons for the arrests. Under the PSA, the authorities can detain a person without any trial for up to two years.
Former J&K chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had also criticised BJP.
“If normalcy as claimed by GOI has indeed returned to J&K with zero incidents of stone pelting & other activities considered anti-national, why are they booking religious scholars under draconian laws like PSA? Outrightly condemn such actions that reflect the BJP’s communal mindset,” Mehbooba Mufti had tweeted yesterday while reacting to these arrests.