Kashmir Ignores Syed Ali Geelani, Cold Response To Osama Bin Laden Funeral Prayers6 May 2011
The Economic Times
Srinagar: Kashmiri separatist hawk Syed Ali Geelani on Friday led funeral prayers in absentia for slain terrorist Osama bin Laden . Though the prayers were offered at many mosques after the Friday service was over, the idea remained highly restricted. DIG Central Kashmir Abdul Gani Mir said the call evoked very little response as people generally ignored it. After the prayers at a few places, Mir said, there were some instances of stone pelting as well. People resumed their routine after the Friday prayers. The government had anticipated such a response. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted : 'One gets the feeling that he's (Geelani ) losing his touch on the pulse of the people - first panchayat elections and now the funeral prayers,' Omar tweeted in response to a message. Authorities had put Geelani under house arrest on Thursday after he called the clerics and Imams of the mosques to offer funeral prayers to Osama. However, it reversed the decision and allowed him to lead the prayers. Geelani drove to the sprawling Batamaloo locality where the prayers were held after the usual Friday service. Prayers were offered by Shabir Ahmad Shah at Srinagar's Iqra Masjid in Saraibala as well. At Batamaloo and Saraibala, the people staged symbolic anti-US protests but it did not create any law and order problem. Geelani led one of the small street protests, which shouted anti-US and anti-Israel slogans. Geelani and Hizbul Mujhaideen's PoK based leader Syed Salahuddin were the only two separatist leaders who termed bin Laden as a martyr.