September 2021 News

Syed Ali Shah Geelani Passes Away

1 September 2021

Srinagar: Pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away at his residence in uptown Srinagar on late Wednesday evening after a prolonged illness. Reports said that he breathed his last at around 10:30 pm after developing chest pain. He was 92. Geelani, who was a member of banned Jamaat-e-Islami and chairman of hardline Hurriyat Conference, had been suffering from various ailments.

His family members confirmed the death of Geelani but there was no confirmation about the timing of his funeral prayers or about the place of his burial. Soon after his death, government forces were seen setting up barricades at the entrance of the lane leading to Geelani's house. Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said that nobody from outside will be allowed to visit and restrictions will be imposed in the Valley. 'Only family members and neighbors will be allowed to visit,' he said. According to his will, he wanted to be buried in Srinagar's Eidgah 'martyrs' graveyard, where scores of militants alongside several others killed in the last three decades of armed militancy are buried. But it is believed the authorities might not allow it to avoid disturbance in the situation. Reports from various parts of Kashmir said heavy contingents of security forces have erected blockades to stop movement of people.

Geelani, 92, was the founder of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. Geelani was born on 29 September 1929 in Zurimanz village in north Kashmir's Sopore town of Baramulla district. He started his career in 1949 as a government primary school teacher. He was elected as MLA from Sopore constituency of north Kashmir in 1972, 1977 and 1987. He has served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah wrote on facebook: 'My condolences go out to the family, friends and admirers of Syed Ali Shah Geelani Sahib. May Allah grant him the Highest Mukaam in Jannat-Ul-Firdous. Thoughts and Prayers with family.' Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti extended condolences: 'Saddened by the news of Geelani sahab's passing away. We may not have agreed on most things but I respect him for his steadfastness & standing by his beliefs. May Allah Ta'aala grant him jannat & condolences to his family & well wishers.' Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference, Sajad Lone wrote on this twitter account: 'Heartfelt condolences to the family of Syed Ali Shah Geelani Sahib. Was an esteemed colleague of my late father. May Allah grant him Jannat.'

Though an ardent supporter of Pakistan, his credibility and stature grew immensely after he openly criticised and refused to endorse four-point formula of Pakistan military dictator Gen Parvez Musharraf. It also developed bitterness between Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led Hurriyat who was supporting Musharraf's formula. Geelani was averse to bilateral dialogue with New Delhi and lastly he refused to meet an all-party delegation sent by Government of India in 2016.