Abdul Dawoodi heads the Tehreek-e-Sowtul Awliya religious group and is the best-known Barelvi scholar in Kashmir. The 51-year-old Muslim cleric is a prominent figure with Sufi influences in South Kashmir, has a mass following on social media, and has been preaching on various social issues, such as the dowry system in Kashmir.
In September 2022, the Police asked him to report to a Police Station in Anantnag and booked him under Public Safety Act (PSA), which allows the state to detain anyone for up to two years without a trial. Human rights groups like Amnesty have described the PSA as a lawless law, frequently invoked to silence the critics.
In 2016 during the unrest in Kashmir, Dawoodi was a target of a grenade attack by suspected militants. The cleric escaped with minor injuries, and several others were killed and injured.
Political opponents have condemned the arrest saying the valley has witnessed the amalgamation of different ideologies, describing the arrest as deplorable and bound to deepen the uncertainty. Human rights defenders are seeking intervention from the National Human Rights Commission to stop the prolonged and excessive witch-hunt of religious leaders and youth in Kashmir.
Charges and Allegations
Public Safety Act
Not released yet