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Mehbooba, Mirwaiz condemn ‘maltreatment’ of Geelani’s body

Syed Ali Shah Geelani. File picture

Syed Ali Shah Geelani. File picture

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday accused the J&K administration of showing disrespect towards the body of senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who died of natural causes on September 1 in Srinagar at the age of 92.

“From the videos I saw and the statements made by Geelani’s family members, it’s unfortunate that his body was maltreated and desecrated. It’s sad a person who is dead was not treated with dignity. We cannot do revenge politics on a dead man’s body,” Ms. Mufti said.

She said Geelani’s death had induced a deep sense of grief and pain among his followers and also those who disagreed with him.

‘Goes against Indian culture’

“I may disagree with his politics, but people’s respect towards him was visible from the spontaneous shutdown. People are also saddened that Geelani’s last wish [of being buried in Srinagar’s ‘Martyrs’ Graveyard’) was not granted. Even the last wish of a person about to be hanged is granted. This goes against Indian culture. We should keep in mind that the world has a very high opinion of India and its values,” she said.

The former Chief Minister said booking Geelani’s family under the UAPA “shows the Centre’s deep-rooted paranoia and ruthlessness”. “This is New India’s Naya Kashmir,” she said.

The family of ex-Hurriyat chairman Geelani has accused the police of forcefully lifting his body before sunrise and burying him in haste, with no close family member attending the last rites. However, the police denied the allegations.

Also Read:Geelani gets pre-dawn quiet burial

Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a statement, also condemned the police move to lodge an FIR against the family of Geelani.

“The details shared by Geelani sahib’s son about the burial is appalling and painful to hear. It is so tragically inhuman when a family is denied the basic right of burial of their loved one and one can only imagine what the family must have gone through,” the Mirwaiz said.

He said the authorities are now harassing the family with FIRs and threats of arrests which “exposes their cruelty”. “In this hour of grief and injustice, the whole nation stands with the family.”

Video released

Meanwhile, the police released a series of videos on the last moments of Geelani's burial, which showed the rites of ablution and wrapping of the shroud being performed, besides the funeral prayers.

The videos are the first of the funeral as no journalist was allowed to cover the last rites and funeral prayers of Geelani on September 2. The family alleged not even the late Hurriayt leader’s sons were allowed by the police to participate in the last rites and funeral prayers.

Kashmir re-opens partially

After four days, Kashmir re-opened partially on Monday. However, restrictions on the movement of people were imposed in Srinagar’s Hyderpora and Eidgah areas.

Most shops and commercial hubs, including Lal Chowk, opened during the day. Offices also functioned smoothly. However, several shops in the old city’s Hawal, Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal and Nowhatta remained closed, as they observed a spontaneous shutdown.

“There have been no reports of any major violence,” a police official said.

Meanwhile, Inspector General Of Police Vijay Kumar said mobile internet services, barred for past five days, will be restored shortly from 7 p.m. in all districts of the Kashmir valley except Srinagar and Budgam.

"Will review about Srinagar and Budgam tomorrow afternoon," IGP Kumar said.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 11:02:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mehbooba-mirwaiz-condemn-maltreatment-of-geelanis-body/article36321140.ece