Asiya Andrabi, head of the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM), arrested here on Saturday, was a hardcore separatist. She had been evading arrest for the last three months since the violent protests erupted in Kashmir.

She is believed to be one of the masterminds of the protests along with Masarat Alam Bhat, leader of the pro-Pakistan Muslim League, and they spearheaded the “Quit Jammu and Kashmir” campaign. Both the DeM and the Muslim League are constituents of the Hurriyat Conference faction led by Syed Ali Geelani. Alam is also carrying a cash reward of Rs. 3 lakh on her head.

Asiya shot into prominence in the late 1980s when she launched the DeM essentially against social vices. However, she jumped into the separatist campaign, which began with the armed insurgency in 1990.

She has been a strong supporter of an “Islamic State” and the State's merger with Pakistan. She has been jailed several times for supporting militant activities. Once her infant son also spent a year with her in jail.

Andrabi is married to the former militant commander and Islamist separatist leader, Aashiq Hussain Faktoo alias Mohammad Qasim who is serving life imprisonment in the case of murder of rights activist H.N. Wanchoo.