Naseem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, one of the most prominent figures in the Kashmiri resistance movement who died on Wednesday, alleged that his family had planned to bury him at the main martyrs’ graveyard in Srinagar, the region’s main city, as specified in his will but were not allowed to do so by the Jammu and Kashmir police.
“They snatched his body and forcibly buried him. Nobody from the family was present for his burial. We tried to resist but they overpowered us and even scuffled with women,” AP news agency quotes Naseem as saying.
“We told the administration that we will bury him at 10am so that our relatives who live in far-off areas could attend. But they took the body forcefully at 3am and did not allow any of us to take part in the last prayers. They even argued with the women in the family who resisted taking away his body.” Naseem told Al Jazeera.
The officials buried Geelani’s body in a local graveyard in a quiet funeral under harsh restrictions and prohibited any mass funeral in anticipation of mass gatherings.
The authorities also cracked down on public movement and imposed a near-total communications blackout in the Valley on Thursday after the death of Geelani.
The cellphone networks and mobile internet services were shut down.
According to PTI, the police and paramilitary forces placed steel barricades and razor wire across many roads, bridges and intersections and set up additional checkpoints in towns and villages in Kashmir.
The veteran Kashmir leader who became the emblem of the region’s defiance against New Delhi, passed away at the age of 92.
Geelani lived the final decade of his life under imprisonment in his own home even as he suffered from multiple serious ailments.
Geelani was previously a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir but later on founded Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He has served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference.
He was an MLA from the Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir in 1972, 1977 and in 1987.
Geelani stood for the right of self-determination but advocated the position of union with Pakistan. He was first imprisoned in 1962 and has spent several spells in the following years.