Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani passes away at 92, Mehbooba Mufti expresses grief


Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away on Wednesday at the age of 91 at his home in Srinagar.

Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away on Wednesday night in his home in Srinagar after suffering from prolonged illness. The 92-year-old had been suffering from various ailments for nearly last two decades. Geelani, a hardline Islamist leader, had resigned from politics and Hurriyat last year.

The news was confirmed by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mohbooba Mufti on Twitter. “Saddened by the news of Geelani sahab’s passing away. We may not have agreed on most things but I respect him for his steadfastness & standing by his beliefs. May Allah Ta’aala grant him jannat & condolences to his family & well wishers,” she said.

Following the demise of the separatist leader, restrictions have been imposed in the Valley, including suspension of internet services, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said.

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Geelan was the leader of the hardline faction of Hurriyat. Earlier, he was a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir but later on founded his own party known as Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He was also the MLA from Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir in 1972, 1977 and 1987.

In June this year, Geelani resigned as chief of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, complaining that constituents of the amalgam failed to lead the people after abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, “overstepped the limits”, and tried to “create a parallel structure”.

He also took a swipe at the Hurriyat leadership in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, calling it “just a representative forum” with “no power to take any decision” and using its influence to “get close to power corridors” in Pakistan.

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