Kupwara, May 6: Senior Hurriyat Conference leader Ashraf Khan Shehrai 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 persons to the village and also disallowed the local residents from participating in the last rites of Khan on apprehensions of “law and order” situation coupled with prevailing COVID-19 situation.
Details available with Srinagar-based news agency Global News Service (GNS) said that the mortal remains of Shehrai reached his native village here in Tekipora Lolab at around 4:00 AM after being ferried from Jammu on Wednesday evening.
Family sources told GNS that limited people, mainly some close relatives, participated in the funeral prayers with adherence to all necessary protocols.
“Burial of separatist leader late Ashraf Shehrai completed as per Covid #protocol in presence of family members at his native place,” IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said in a tweet.
The septuagenarian 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, had confirmed the death of the senior Hurriyat Conference leader to GNS.
Sehrai is survived by his wife, three sons – Khalid Ashraf, Rashid Ashraf and Mujahid Ashraf – and two daughters.
Sehrai’s stature among Hurriyat leaders had risen when his 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 encounter in Srinagar on May 19 last year.
Sehrai was detained last year and booked under Public Safety Act. The 77-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.
Meanwhile official sources told GNS that the restrictions will continue to remain in effect till further orders as to avoid any “law and order” situation coupled with COVID-19 situation. (GNS)