Srinagar: Senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, passed away at his residence in uptown Srinagar on late Wednesday evening.
Geelani, 92, was the founder of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He has served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was suffering from multiple ailments and was confined to his residence.
“He had chest congestion and breathing problems. He passed away at 10:30 pm,” they said.
Geelani was born on 29 September 1929 in Zurimanz village in north Kashmir’s Sopore town of Baramulla district.
He started his career in 1949 as a government primary school teacher. He was elected as MLA from Sopore constituency of north Kashmir in 1972, 1977 and 1987.
Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah wrote on his facebook handle: “My condolences go out to the family, friends and admirers of Syed Ali Shah Geelani Sahib. May Allah grant him the Highest Mukaam in Jannat-Ul-Firdous. Thoughts and Prayers with family.”
Reacting to the news, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti extended condolences over Geelani’s demise.
“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,” Mufti tweeted.
Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference, Sajad Lone wrote on this twitter account: “Heartfelt condolences to the family of Syed Ali Shah Geelani Sahib. Was an esteemed colleague of my late father. May Allah grant him Jannat.”
Meanwhile, in the wake of Geelani’s death, authorities have decided to impose restrictions across Kashmir.
“There will be restrictions across Kashmir on Thursday,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Zone, Vijay Kumar said. “Internet will also be snapped and nobody will be allowed to disrupt peace.”
“The government has drawn up plans to prepare for the aftermath,” a senior police officer said here. “A heavy security blanket would be imposed across Kashmir. Restrictions will include a total clampdown on movement, so that there is minimal presence on the roads.”
“In the view of death of senior Hurriyat leader, public of North Kashmir is requested to avoid movement towards Srinagar,” said DIG northern Kashmir.
Meanwhile reports from various parts of Kashmir said heavy contingents of security forces have erected blockades to stop movement of people.