Restrictions in place, mobile and internet services have been suspended across Kashmir after the demise of veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Geelani, who died late Wednesday at age 92, was buried in a local graveyard in a quiet funeral organized by authorities under harsh restrictions, his son, Naseem Geelani, told The Associated Press.
He said the 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 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,” Naseem Geelani told AP.
Geelani was born on 29 September 1929 in Zurimanz village of Baramulla district.
He was previously a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir and the founder of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He also as the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), a conglomerate of pro-freedom parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan is observing a day of official mourning on Thursday.
In a couple of tweets, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed grief over the demise and said the country will observe a day of official mourning.
“Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kashmiri freedom fighter Syed Ali Geelani who struggled all his life for his people & their right to self-determination. He suffered incarceration & torture by the Occupying Indian state but remained resolute,” he wrote on Twitter.
On Wednesday, The IGP Kashmir, while speaking to the press near Geelani’s residence last night said that only the relatives of Geelani will be allowed to attend the funeral.