Jailed TeH chairman Ashraf Sehrai passes away in Jammu hospital

RT-PCR report positive; died of respiratory distress: GMC Principalok
File Photo of Mohd Ashraf Sehrai
File Photo of Mohd Ashraf Sehrai

Though his Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) report was negative yet his RT-PCR test report which came this evening after his death was positive for Covid-19.

Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital Dean and Principal Dr Shashi Sudhan Sharma confirmed this to Greater Kashmir.

"Yes, his RT-PCR test report has turned out to be positive. He died of acute respiratory distress. He was suffering from different co-morbidities and his oxygen saturation point was critically low. It was 60 percent when he was brought to this hospital last evening around 5.00 pm. He breathed his last this afternoon at 12.10 pm," Dr Sharma said, in her brief response to Greater Kashmir queries.

Senior Hurriyat leader and a close aide of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, whom he replaced as TeH chairman, Sehrai was detained in District jail Udhampur under Public Safety Act (PSA) in July, 2020.

Earlier official sources said that he was shifted to the GMC hospital Jammu Tuesday evening from the District Hospital Udhampur in a critical condition. He was rushed from the district jail to Udhampur hospital Tuesday morning after he complained of uneasiness and breathlessness.

The septuagenarian Sehrai was among the political leaders who were detained after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. Later, he was arrested from his residence in Srinagar, nearly two months after his son Junaid Sehrai, who had joined militant ranks and was Hizbul Mujahideen commander, was killed in an encounter in Srinagar last year.

As per official sources, his family was informed about his condition last evening. "They were informed that he was brought to the GMC hospital Jammu," they said yet did not elaborate as to what the family was actually told about his situation.

Originally hailing from Tekipura village in Lolab in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, Sehrai joined the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) at a young age and remained associated with Geelani for over six decades. Sehrai was Geelani's main supporter and aide when he launched the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat in 2004 after parting ways with the Jamaat. Sehrai was appointed as acting chairperson by Tehreek-e-Hurriyat in March 2018 and was later elected as chairperson for three years.

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