By: Jahangir Lolabi
Kupwara: Senior Hurriyat Conference leader Ashraf Khan Shehrai was laid to rest at 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.
Sehrai’s body reached his native village here in Tekipora Lolab at around 4:00 after being ferried from Jammu on Wednesday evening. Sehrai, who was undergoing detention in Udhampur Jail, had died in Jammu hospital yesterday
Family sources said 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 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)