Crackdown in J&K: Seven more preachers detained under PSA

A day after two religious preachers were detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) from different parts of Jammu & Kashmir, the police on Saturday detained seven more from the region, officials said.

Among those detained under the controversial PSA is prominent religious preacher Sarjan Barkati and Auqaf president Nazir Ahmad Khan. “All of those arrested have been booked under PSA and shifted to Jammu,” said an official familiar with the matter, requesting anonymity.

On Friday, seven people, including members of Barelvi, Jamiat Ahle Hadees (JaH) or Salafi groups and the banned Jamaat-e-Islami group (JeI), were detained under the act.

Police have remained tight-lipped about the reasons for the arrests. Under the PSA, the authorities can detain a person without trial for up to two years.

Two among the seven detained on Friday 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 and Veeri, who was also booked under PSA in 2019, is a religious leader of Jamiat Ahle Hadees (JaH) in Anantnag.