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Senior Hurriyat leader in custody dies of COVID in Kashmir

Senior Hurriyat leader in custody dies of COVID in Kashmir

Senior Hurriyat leader Mohammad Ashraf Ali, known as Ashraf Sehrai, who was in custody under the Public Safety Act in Udhampur jail, died on Tuesday due to COVID related complications in a hospital. He was 77.

He was taken to Government Medical College from jail after he had developed breathing issues and chest pain. It was later known that he was infected with the virus.

Sehrai's funeral was held at around 4 AM in Tekkipora, Lolab of North Kashmir's Kupwara district, amid pro-freedom sloganeering from people who were allowed to attend.

With a political career spanning over 60 years, Sehrai spent more than 16 years in jail. He had been hailed as a Jamaat-e-Islami ideologue and a lieutenant to Syed Ali Shah Geelani–the hardline Hurriyat leader.

On his demise, former CM of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter and wrote, "Deeply saddened to know about Ashraf Sehrai sahab's sudden demise. Like him, countless political prisoners & other detainees from J&K continue to be jailed purely for their ideologies & thought process. In today's India, one pays a price with his life for dissent."

"The least GOI can do in such dangerous circumstances is to immediately release these detainees on parole so that they return home to their families," she said in another tweet.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan also expressed condolences and said that he was "deeply saddened" by the leader's demise.

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