Srinagar- The Hurriyat Conference faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday condemned the filing of an FIR against the family members of veteran Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani following his death last week.
The police registered the FIR against unnamed people under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code over the draping of Geelani’s body in a Pakistani flag and the alleged raising of “anti-national” slogans after his death.
However, as the police moved in to take over the body, the late leader’s aides removed the flag, officials had said earlier.
Geelani died on Wednesday night at his residence here after a prolonged illness. The body was laid to rest at a graveyard in Hyderpora locality of Srinagar.
In a statement, the Hurriyat said it denounced the filing of the FIR against Geelani’s family.
“The details shared by Geelani’s son in media that the authorities took the body of the 92-year-old leader into their custody, and buried it on their own without the knowledge and participation of the family is appalling and painful to hear,” the amalgam said.
“It is so tragically inhuman when a family is denied the basic right of burial of their loved one and one can only imagine what the family must have gone through. After such harshness the authorities are now harassing the family with FIRs and threats of arrests,” it claimed.
The Hurriyat said the people of Kashmir stand with Geelani’s family “in this hour of grief and injustice”.
Meanwhile PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said denial of last rites to the family of Syed Ali Shah Geelani was against humanity and had saddened the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We had our differences with Geelani … A fight is with a living person but once a person dies, the differences should end. The deceased is entitled to dignified last rites,” Mehbooba said after a party meeting here.
The former chief minister said the news reports about the denial to Geelani’s family to perform his last rites had saddened the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The family has a right to perform the last rites of a dead person. What we heard and came to know through media reports about disrespect to the deceased, is against humanity. You have to respect your opponent after death like you would respect anyone,” she said.
She said Geelani’s wish to be buried at Eidgah graveyard should have been granted.
“Even a convict sentenced to death is granted one last wish before execution,” Mehbooba said, referring to Geelani’s wish.
The PDP president condemned the alleged misbehaviour with womenfolk of Geelani’s family at the time of his death.
“India is held in high esteem globally for its civilisation and culture… But what has happened does not fit the image of the country,” she added.
Mehbooba said people cannot be forced to like or dislike a leader at gunpoint.
“What happened with the dead body of Geelani has probably generated sympathy among even those who might have had differences with his politics. There was no call, yet the markets were shut down after people came to know about what had happened (on Wednesday night),” she added.
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