Photo and Text: Shaheen Abdulla
“ His life was Kashmir, now they( Indian government) can’t even stop it at his death” commented Sakib, a young Kashmiri in tears. He among others who came to pay last respect to SAR Geelani was shocked at the scenes in front of Fortis Hospital in Nehru Place on Thursday.
Delhi police seized the body of Prof SAR Geelani and conducted autopsy against his families will. The Body was later released to the family on Friday who took his mortal remains to Kashmir for the funeral.
Geelani, a faculty in Delhi University and an active voice for Kashmiri independence took his last breath on Thursday due to cardiac arrest. Geelani was sentenced for the death penalty by a special court in the 2001 Parliament attack but later acquitted from the charges by the supreme court.
The Body was Stopped by police as it was shifted to the ambulance outside the hospital. In no time, dozens of police force encircled the premises and stopped the family to leave for Kashmir with the body.
Police demanded the autopsy report and stopped the ambulance for three hours. When Family questioned the extraordinary procedure for a natural death. The police were reluctant to answer.
Though police said they would let them leave if they give a statement in writing that there was nothing suspicious about his death, the police backed off after taking the signed affidavit from Atif Geelani, son of SAR Geelani.
Tensions grow until midnight when the family was forced to let Delhi police take charge of the situation and escort the body to Delhi AIIMS for autopsy.
“ They are scared how his body will be received in Valley” observed many who witnessed the unpleasant turn of events.
Geelani’s Colleagues also protested against the act of police to intervene at a sad hour and unnecessarily delay the rituals. Sources close to the family said they were devastated by the actions and called it“ disgusting and shameless”.
“ It was a deliberate attempt to delay the funeral, as funeral after Friday prayers could have huge participation.” accused Basil Islam, A student activist.
Geelani was outspoken against the witchhunt of Muslims and Kashmiris by the state of India.
He was considered as an icon for young Kashmiris in academia. He was booked again in 2016 with charges of the seditious act for organizing an event condemning the hanging of Afzal Guru, the prime suspect in Parliament attack case.
Police were not ready to come on record but said they were ordered by higher officials. Many senior officers including ACP Vijay Singh Chandel and Pragya Anand arrived at the scene to negotiate with the family.
This Story is visually Subjective with a perspective on the Trauma faced by the family of a demised person.