Syed Ali Shah Geelani laid to rest amid security clampdown in IIOJK
Veteran Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was laid to rest at a graveyard near his residence in Srinagar’s Hyderpora around 4.30am amid tight security, Hidustan Times reported on Thursday.
His relatives told the Indian publication that only Geelani’s close relatives and neighbours were allowed to attend his funeral as the security forces sealed the graveyard.
Indian authorities imposed a security clampdown in disputed Kashmir late on Wednesday after the veteran Kashmiri leader’s death at the age of 92.
Troops put up barbed wire and barricades on roads leading to Geelani’s house in the main city of Srinagar after the family announced the death.
Hundreds of security forces were immediately deployed and media reports said a curfew would be imposed and internet services cut.
According to media reports, even journalists were prevented from covering the funeral and barred from going to Hyderpora while restrictions were imposed across Kashmir and the internet and mobile phones were snapped.
Announcements were made from loudspeakers of the main mosque near Geelani’s residence asking people to march towards the house. But scores of armoured vehicles and trucks patrolled main roads in the area.
Police appealed for people not to go out on the street.
Geelani, an uncompromising campaigner against Indian rule in Kashmir, had been under house arrest for the past 11 years and had been ill for several months.
Geelani had been a thorn in India’s side since the early 1960s when he began campaigning for the territory’s merger with Pakistan.
The veteran politician was jailed for nearly 10 years after 1962 and often restricted to his home after that.
Since his youth, Geelani had been a member of Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest political-religious organisation in Indian Kashmir that was banned by the Hindu nationalist government in 2019.
Geelani was a staunch critic of the sporadic but failed attempts at dialogue between India and Pakistan.
With additional input from AFP
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