Family of Syed Ali Shah Geelani alleges he was buried forcefully under harsh conditions by the administration; Assembly and movement of people in Kashmir remain suspended for the second day

Published : September 03, 2021 14:15 IST

A closed road in downtown Srinagar on September 3. Photo: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP

The Kashmir Valley continues to be under strict restrictions for the second day after hard-line pro-resistance leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away on the night of September 1.

Police officials said restrictions on the movement and assembly of people continued to be in force today too. The administration has intensified the curbs in downtown Srinagar, sensing that public protest may erupt after the Friday congregational prayers.

There is intense speculation on the circumstances in which the towering public figure was buried, with several newspaper reports claiming a forced burial. Quoting Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son Naseem Geelani, Associated Press reported that the hurriyat leader was buried only hours after his death in a quiet funeral organised by authorities under harsh restrictions.

According to Naseem Geelani, although the bereaved family had planned the burial at the martyrs’ graveyard in Srinagar’s Eidgah, they were prevented from doing so. “They snatched his body and forcibly buried him. Nobody from the family was present for his burial. We tried to resist but they overpowered us and even scuffled with women,” Naseem Geelani alleged.

The Jammu and Kashmir police refuted the allegations. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said in a tweet: “Police facilitated in bringing dead body from the house to the graveyard as there was apprehension that miscreants might take undue advantage of the situation. Relatives participated in last rites.”

Police said the situation remained peaceful across Kashmir and no untoward incident had been reported anywhere.

All roads leading to the deceased leader’s Hyderpora residence in Srinagar have been sealed, whereas barricades have been put up in most places in Srinagar to hinder the movement of people. According to officials, adequate deployment of forces have been made across Srinagar and in other major cities and towns to maintain law and order.

All mobile phone services remain suspended save the postpaid services of BSNL. Although Internet services are operational through fixed lines, the connectivity is poor.

The administration will review the security situation after the Friday congregational prayers are over. A decision on whether or not the curbs should continue will be taken thereafter. The police said the situation across the Valley was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.