Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Kashmir’s separatist hardliner, passes away at 91

Published : September 02, 2021 11:57 IST

Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a file photo. Photo: Altaf Qadri/AP

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Kashmir’s tallest pro-resistance leader, passed away on the night of September 1 after a long illness at his Hyderpora residence in Srinagar, where he had been under house arrest for the most part since 2011. He was 91.

A Srinagar-based web portal reported that Geelani developed serious complications on Wednesday afternoon. “He had chest congestion and breathing problems. He passed away at 10:30 p.m.,” the web portal reported, quoting sources. He had been suffering from multiple ailments and was largely out of the public gaze over the past few years. He had resigned from the Hurriyat last year.

The funeral took place in the early hours of today at a graveyard in Srinagar near his Hyderpora residence. Only Geelani’s close relatives and neighbours were allowed to attend his funeral as the security forces sealed the graveyard. Security forces were also deployed across Kashmir and all the roads leading to Hyderpora were sealed. Officials said additional troops have been deployed, especially in Srinagar’s old city and north Kashmir. Vehicles were stopped at several places and prevented from moving to Srinagar and other major towns.

Geelani was the head of the political bureau of the Jama’at-e-Islami Kashmir, but later quit the Islamist party and founded his own Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, which was seen as a hard-line Hurriyat faction. He served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference twice, but quit the Hurriyat in June 2020.

Following Geelani’s death,Vijay Kumar, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, announced that they had imposed restrictions as a “precautionary measure”. “Restrictions imposed including suspension of internet services in the Valley,” Kumar told the media.

According to media reports, some senior members of the Hurriyat have been detained. Senior Hurriyat leader Mukhtar Ahmed Waza was arrested from his residence in Anantnag in South Kashmir.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor