ISLAMABAD: Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a veteran Kashmiri separatist leader and the former head of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), passed away on September 1 of last year. Shortly after Geelani’s passing on this day last year, Indian authorities tightened security in occupied Kashmir. Police went to his home after that and took his body, preventing his family from having a proper send-off.
Geelani had expressed a desire to rest in Srinagar’s Martyrs’ Graveyard during his lifetime. However, Indian authorities were aware that a procession of his supporters would be walking alongside his body during such a burial. So, with only a few closest relatives present, they quickly buried him in the dark.
At the time, Indian police officials hoped to avoid a spectacle, but their actions in the early morning hours of September 1, 2021, did just that; illegally Indian-occupied Kashmir once again became the focus of controversy, and India received widespread condemnation for the disrespectful way it handled the funeral rites. Geelani’s final act was making a political statement; it was inevitable, regardless of how or where he was buried, and it was a fitting conclusion to his illustrious political life. His height was excessive. Even his rivals were forced to admit this.
He started his political career in 1952 from the platform of Jammat-e-Islami (JeI), where he was born on September 29, 1929, in a village on the shores of Wular Lake. As the district chief for Kupwara and Baramulla, he quickly gained notoriety. His first arrest was on August 28, 1962, for resisting the accession and trying to promote a solution to the Kashmir issue, and he spent nearly 12 years of his life jail