Jammu and Kashmir: Two clerics, 5 Jamaat activists held, booked under PSA

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Jammu and Kashmir: Two clerics, 5 Jamaat activists held, booked under PSA

In a fresh spate of arrests, the Jammu and Kashmir government has detained and slapped the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) against two prominent religious clerics and five alleged activists of banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI).

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The civil administration or the police, however, did not give any reason for booking the clerics and activists under the PSA. Sources said they were booked for their religious sermons that the government thinks are “intolerable”. “The government thinks that there sermons could radicalise people and that is the reason for their arrest,” said a police officer.

Officials said two prominent religious clerics from south Kashmir — Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri and Abdul Rashid Dawoodi — were called to the police stations and detained. Officials said the clerics were later booked under the PSA and could be shifted to jails outside Kashmir valley.

While Veeri is a prominent religious scholar belonging to the Ahli-Hadith school, Dawoodi is a prominent Barelvi religious cleric from south Kashmir’s Kulgam.

Veeri was arrested during the mass crackdown and booked under the PSA in 2019 as well when the Centre abrogated the special status of J&K.

Besides the two religious preachers, the police have detained five alleged activists of JeI, a socio-religious party banned in February 2019.

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