Indian occupation forces took away the body of Kashmiri freedom fighter Syed Ali Geelani and laid him to rest at an undisclosed place, said his spokesman Abdullah Geelani on Thursday.

In a video message, Abdullah said that the Indian army had seized the body of Syed Ali Geelani and “we do not know where he was buried.”

Abdullah said that the Indian occupation forces also tortured the family of Syed Ali Geelani. The family demanded that his body be handed over to them and allowed to be buried at the Martyrs cemetery according to his wish.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has imposed a curfew in the valley and communication has also been suspended.

On the other hand, Indian media claimed that Syed Ali Geelani was buried in Haiderpura cemetery under tight security before dawn. Only a few people were allowed to attend the funeral prayers and burial.

News agency AFP reported police sources as saying that Geelani was buried at 4:30 am Thursday at a cemetery near his home in the main city of Srinagar.

Only a small number of his relatives were present, including two of his sons, the source added.

Geelani, the most outspoken critic of India who spent several years in jail or under house arrest, had wanted to be buried at the Martyrs Cemetery in Srinagar. But authorities rejected that request, the police source said.

“We basically took control of the arrangements,” the official said.

Residents said authorities acted out of fear of mass mourning turning into unrest.

“Troops are everywhere, there are barbed wire blockades on every main road,” said one.

After the death became known, announcements were made from loudspeakers of the main mosque near Geelani’s residence asking people to march towards the house.

But police said no one in the Kashmir Valley would be allowed to leave their homes.

Syed Ali Geelani was born on September 29, 1929, in a village on the banks of Wular lake in the Sopore area of Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

He remained a staunch opponent of India’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and lead the Kashmiris’ struggle for their right to self-determination.

Since his youth, Geelani had been a member of Jamaat-i-Islami, the largest political-religious organisation in Kashmir that was banned by the Hindu nationalist government in 2019.

Later on, he founded his own party by the name of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.

Geelani had been a thorn in India’s side since the early 1960s when he began campaigning for the territory’s merger with Pakistan. He also pursued his separatist calls as a member of the Kashmir assembly, from the Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir, elected three times — 1972, 1977 and 1987.

The veteran politician was jailed for nearly 10 years after 1962 and often restricted to his home after that.

He also served as the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a forum of freedom parties in Jammu and Kashmir, from which he stepped down last year.


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