Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani dies after prolonged illness

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Hours after former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said the last will of deceased separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani should have been respected and body of a person has to be treated with respect, the J&K police released series of videos about ablution of the deceased leader, who passed away at his Hyderpora residence on Wednesday evening.  

Police also claimed that three hours after Geelani’s death, both his sons were under “pressure from Pakistan and miscreants, behaved differently and wrapped dead body in a Pakistani flag, made loud sloganeering in favour of Pakistan while instigating neighbours to come out.”

Police in a series of tweets on Monday evening released the videos about ‘Ghusul’ (ablution) of Geelani.

The 92-year-old, who was under house detention since 2010, passed away at his residence on Wednesday evening. After his death authorities imposed restrictions in the Valley and snapped mobile and internet services barring BSNL postpaid and broad services.

Geelani’s body was buried quietly in a graveyard near his residence at Hyderpora before the sunrise on Thursday. The separatist leader’s family had alleged that police forcibly took away the body and buried it in the graveyard with none from the family attending the burial.

Police in a series of tweets today evening stated that after the death of Geelani, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar along with SP & ASP met both of his sons at their residence at 11pm.

“They consoled them and requested for burial in the night for the larger interest of general public due to potential major L&O situations. Both agreed and asked to wait for two hours until relatives reach. IGP Kashmir personally spoke to a few relatives and ensured them of safe passage,” police said.

Police alleged that three hours later, probably under the pressure from Pakistan and other miscreants, they behaved differently and started resorting to anti-national activities including wrapping dead body in Pakistani flag, making loud sloganeering in favour of Pakistan and instigating neighbours to come out.

“After persuasion, the relatives brought the body to the graveyard and performed last rites with due respect in presence of members of Intizamia Committee and local Imam,” police said adding, “The refusal of both his sons to come to graveyard indicated their loyalty to Pakistani agenda rather than their love & respect for their departed father.”

The videos of Geelani’s body wrapped in Pakistani flag and commotion in a room where his body was lying had gone viral on social media.

Geelani’s son Naeem Geelani had alleged police stormed into their house at around 3 am, misbehaved with people present inside including women and forcibly took away Geelani’s body. “The women were dragged out of the room and threatened they will be fired at.”

He said police did everything themselves – from digging the grave, giving the last bath to Geelani, funeral prayers and burying the body. “All this was done in our absence and none from family attended his burial or funeral prayers.”

He said IG and SSP Budgam visited their home and they told them that Geelani’s last wish was that his body be buried in martyrs graveyard at Eidgah, which is about 10-12 kms from his residence.

“They said it is not possible. We told them to give us permission to bury the body quietly in martyrs graveyard Eidgah. However, they did not agree and said they have orders to get the body buried before dawn,” Naeem said.

The authorities, meanwhile, today restored mobile internet in 8 out of 10 districts in the Valley.  However, the mobile internet was not yet restored in Srinagar and Budgam district in central Kashmir.