Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani passes away at 92

News Network
September 2, 2021

geelaniali.jpg

The patriarch of separatist politics in the Valley and Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, passed away at his residence in Srinagar late Wednesday night. A former elected legislator, the ailing 92-year-old had been under house detention for more than a decade. 

His death comes when both his and the moderate factions of the Hurriyat are in disarray in the wake of a crackdown by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the abrogation of Article 370 and the downgrade of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

Apprehensive that his funeral may attract large crowds, the security establishment has imposed restrictions across the Valley, including Internet suspension. Police sources say curfew would be imposed.

“With shock and grief, we inform (you) that the father of revolution Syed Ali Geelani passed away tonight,” tweeted Geelani’s Pakistan-based representative Abdullah Geelani. “As per his will, he would be buried at the martyrs’ cemetery in Srinagar. The timing of the funeral would be announced later.”

However, it is unlikely that the government will allow Geelani to be buried at this cemetery.

Geelani’s legacy will be that of the hardliner who stood up to New Delhi, seeking resolution of the Kashmir dispute under the aegis of the United Nations. In fact, he was the only separatist leader to oppose Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf when the latter climbed down on Islamabad’s traditional stand on Kashmir and proposed a four-point formula to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Born on September 29, 1929, at Zurmanz, a village on the banks of the Wular lake in Bandipore, Geelani rose to become the face of separatist politics.

A school teacher, he started his political career under the tutelage of Maulana Mohammad Sayeed Masoodi, a senior National Conference (NC) leader, but soon moved to Jamat-e-Islami. The socio-religious organisation stood up to the NC leadership and saw Kashmir as an “unfinished agenda” of Partition.

Geelani’s electoral career started from Sopore, a traditional separatist and Jamat stronghold. He first contested the Assembly elections in 1972, and represented Sopore in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for three terms. The last term ended abruptly in 1987 when militancy erupted in Kashmir.

Geelani had been one of the four candidates of the Muslim United Front (MUF) — an alliance of political, social and religious organisations — who won in the widely rigged 1987 elections that brought the NC-Congress combine to power and set off militancy in the Valley.

An ardent supporter of armed struggle for resolution of the Kashmir issue, Geelani was among the seven executive members of the Hurriyat Conference when it was formed in 1993. But his support for militancy and unwavering ideology on Kashmir sowed the seeds of discord between him and his colleagues in the Hurriyat Conference, finally culminating in a split in 2003.

In 2004, Geelani also parted ways from Jamat-e-Islami when it distanced itself from militancy, and formed his own political outfit, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.

While Geelani has been bedridden for years now and incommunicado for the last two years, he sprang a surprise on June 30 last year when he dissociated himself from the faction of Hurriyat that he founded. He left the reins to his deputy Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, who died in custody in Jammu jail earlier this year.

And though Geelani said he wanted the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of the people, he himself was an ardent supporter of its merger with Pakistan. Last year, the Pakistan government awarded him with Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian honour of the country.

The NIA, which has till date arrested 18 separatist leaders from Kashmir including those from the Hurriyat in a case of terror funding, has alleged that they received funds from Pakistan to foment unrest in the Valley. The agency had even named Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in the chargesheet, claiming they had been pushing for secession and fuelling unrest but had stopped short of naming them as accused.

In February, 2019 the NIA had raided Umer Farooq’s and Geelani’s son Naseem Geelani’s house among others in the case. In March 2019, the Enforcement Directorate had levied a penalty of Rs 14.40 lakh on Geelani in a 17-year-old case of alleged illegal possession of $10,000 in alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law.

Former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti condoled Geelani’s demise, saying, “We may not have agreed on most things but I respect him for his steadfastness and standing for his beliefs.”

People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone tweeted: “Heartfelt condolences to the family of Syed Ali Shah Geelani sahib. Was an esteemed colleague of my late father. May Allah grant him Jannat”.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
November 29,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 29: In a shocking incident, the dead bodies of two Covid-19 patients were found 15 months after they died at the ESI hospital mortuary in Rajajinagar in Bengaluru.

The authorities were planning to cremate the bodies on Monday as the family and relatives of one of the deceased did not show any interest in taking the body for final rites. And, the police were not able to trace another deceased person's whereabouts and family.

The bodies were recovered three days ago at the cold storage when the workers went there for cleaning. The negligence of the staff and doctors is said to be the reason for the dead bodies remaining at the cold storage without disposal.

The bodies were identified with the help of tags as Durga (40), a resident of Chamarajpet and Muniraju (35), a resident of K.P. Agrahara in Bengaluru. Both were admitted to the ESI hospital for the treatment of Corona infection in July, 2020.

However, as they succumbed to the deadly virus, their bodies were shifted to an old mortuary to be handed over to the BBMP for disposal. As the Covid protocol, the BBMP, the civic agency, was to cremate the dead bodies of the Corona victims and the bodies were not given to the families.

The ESI hospital's old mortuary has six cold storages for keeping the dead bodies. However, during the spike in the Covid deaths, it had become difficult for the hospital authorities to keep the dead bodies at the mortuary.

The government had constructed a new mortuary, which was inaugurated in December, 2020. As the new mortuary started functioning, due to negligence these two bodies remained in freezers.

The cleaning staff, who went to clean the old mortuary, noticed foul smell emanating from freezers and found bodies. The Rajajinagar police have taken up the case and tried to track relatives. Durga's husband is dead and her family has not shown interest in taking her body. The police were trying to find out the address of Muniraju's family members.

The development has drawn sharp reactions from the public against the ESI hospital staff and doctors for utter negligence in handling of dead bodies. 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
November 20,2021

New Delhi, Nov 20: There is good news coming in for the cricket fanatics in the country as BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Saturday made it clear that the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will take place in India.

Shah confirmed the latest development during the 'The Champions Call' event in Chennai, organised to celebrate Chennai Super Kings' victory in IPL 2021.

"I know you all are waiting to see CSK play at Chepauk. Well, the moment is not very far. The 15th season of the IPL will take place in India and it will be more exciting than ever with two new teams joining," Jay Shah said, adding, "we have a mega auction coming up, so it will be interesting to see what the new combinations look like."

In October, the national cricket board had confirmed that franchises from Lucknow and Ahmedabad will be added to the 2022 edition of the lucrative league, making it the only second edition of the tournament to have ten teams.

The 2021 edition of the IPL began in India but it was suspended midway through the tournament due to multiple Covid-19 cases in the camps of participating franchises.

The season was then completed in September-October later this year in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Earlier, the entire 2020 IPL also took place in the UAE. 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
November 18,2021

sahib.jpg

Lahore, Nov 18: Over 100 Sikh pilgrims from India, including Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, are expected to arrive at the revered Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan on Thursday using the visa-free Kartarpur corridor, some 20 months after the pilgrimage was suspended following the COVID-19 outbreak.

On Wednesday, the first batch of 28 Indian Sikhs, including women, arrived in Pakistan to take part in the annual commemoration of the birth of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev on Friday. Similarly, over 2,500 Indian Sikhs also arrived via the Wagah border crossing.

“The Indian Punjab chief minister (Channi) along with his delegation is also scheduled to visit Darbar Sahib on Thur¬s¬day,” Karta¬rpur Pro¬ject Management Unit chief executive officer Muhammad Latif said.

Latif also told the Dawn newspaper that over 100 Indian pilgrims were expected to visit the gurdwara on Thursday.

The Kartarpur Corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district.

Gurpurab, which marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, will be celebrated on November 19.

Till Wednesday, over 2,500 Sikh pilgrims have arrived via the Wagah border.

The pilgrims left for Nankana Sahib soon after their arrival to participate in the main event at Gurdwara Janam Asthan on Friday, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) spokesperson Amir Hashmi told the Dawn newspaper.

“All the visiting Sikhs from India and elsewhere will be facilitated for travelling to Kartarpur sahib,” he added.

Pilgrimage to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara was suspended in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Indian government reopened the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from its side on Wednesday.

India signed the Kartarpur corridor agreement with Pakistan on October 24, 2019.

Under the pact, Indian pilgrims of all faiths are allowed to undertake round the year visa-free travel through the 4.5-km-long passage.

In November 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan had formally inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor as part of the commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak at a colourful ceremony, paving the way for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their religion's holiest sites in Pakistan without needing a visa. 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.