Mushtaq Veeri, JeI activists booked under PSA

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Prominent Kashmir cleric and vice-president of Jamiat Ahlihadith Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat Veeri was Thursday booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for allegedly preaching a “radical ideology and instigating youth into carrying out anti-national activities”.

Mushtaq, 41, who hails from Veeri village of Bijbehara, was arrested from his home on February 22 and lodged in Bijbehera police station.

He was later shifted to district jail Mattan in Anantnag district.

A police official said the authorities booked him under PSA on Thursday and shifted him to Kathua Jail in Jammu division.

Veeri is a chief preacher at the Jamia Masjid Jamiat-i-Ahlihadees Sherbagh in  Anantnag town and has a huge following.

The police dossier describes him as a “trouble maker involved in instigating youth to anti-national activities and preaching a radical ideology”.

“You are a staunch supporter of Jamiat-i-Ahlihadees and a chronic trouble maker, involved in motivation and instigation of the youth of Anantnag in particular and its adjoining areas in general for anti-national activities,” reads the dossier.

It says: “You (Veeri) have been provoking the innocent populace of the area for indulging in activities which are prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. Besides, you also provoke the youth in the name of religion to join debates, activities, acts, and omissions which are against the public order and security of the state.”

Police have also charged Veeri “for being a religious fanatic and a sympathiser of militants”.

“You are a hardcore fundamentalist with a mental bent towards insurgency and have been propagating radical ideology since long. Further, you have also been instrumental in forcing the public to follow each and every strike call of separatist leaders and with the passage of time have turned as a sympathiser of militants,” the dossier reads.

 “You have been spreading venom against the state of J&K and the Union of India and promoting hatred,” the dossier said.

Veeri was last booked on charges of instigating the youth accused of resorting to violence and torching a police vehicle during a protest demonstration against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

However, it is the first time that a PSA has been slapped on him.

The dossier mentions the cases against him with charges ranging from “indulging in unlawful activities to attempt to murder”.

Meanwhile, the government also booked three Jamaat-i-Islami activists under the PSA in Anantnag district and shifted them to Jammu jails.

The activists were arrested last month during a crackdown against JeI that preceded the ban of the politico-socio-religious organisation.

Those detained under PSA include Ameer Halqa  Sangam Muhammad Shaban Dar (64) of Marhama village of Sangam, former Qaim-e-Zillah JeI Anantnag Mushtaq Ahmad Wani (67) of Tangpawa Kokernag and Ameer Halqa Soaf Shali Kokernag Nowshad Ahmad (65).

All the three were shifted to Kathua Jail Jammu.

Last week, the government had booked former Ameer-i-Tehsil in Tral Mufti Shabir Ahmad Falahi and Jamat spokesperson advocate Zahid Ali from Pulwama and shifted them to Jammu jails.

Aqib Gulzar, 19, the teenage son of Ameer tehsil Anantnag Gulzar Ahmad was also been booked under PSA early this week and shifted to Hiranagar jail.

“He was arrested in the overnight raid from his house early this month.

Aaqib’s father Gulzar Ahmad (48) from Uranhall village of Anantnag has been evading arrest.