Under Fire, Police Releases Nine Videos Of Geelani’s Funeral

Forces personnel outside the residence of Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Wednesday night.

Srinagar: Facing sharp criticism over alleged mishandling of veteran separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s last rites, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday released a series of nine videos showing the funeral of the deceased leader being performed as per Islamic rituals.

The videos were released by police on its official Twitter handle on Monday evening showing people performing funeral bath (Ghusl) before lowering the body into a grave. Out of the nine, Six videos are of Geelani’s ablution, one video is of Geelani’s body being wrapped in a shroud, another video is of his funeral prayers and the last visual shows Geelani’s burial.

The 2 minute long video, titled as “Video of Ghusul (ablution) of late SAS Geelani ” was uploaded on the official twitter account of the Kashmir zone police. The video clearly shows Geelani’s body—wrapped under a black cloth—been given ablution by several civilians. In the video, two mask-wearing civilians can be seen pouring water over Geelani’s body while the rest of the bystanders recited Quranic verses near his body.

In another video, several voices can be clearly heard shouting “Shut your camera”, to which another voice—purportedly of the person filming Geelani’s ablution— replies, “This is to throw light.”

In the video titled as “Visuals from the funeral prayers (janaza) of SAS Geelani” several civilians can be seen listening to a cleric’s speech near Geelani’s coffin.

“Family members are requested to step forward.” An obscure voice can be heard in one of the videos calling out for Geelani’s family members. “There are only a few here.” a person replies.

The videos were released by police, hours after Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led Hurriyat Chairman accused the J&K administration of desecrating and maltreating Syed Ali Geelani’s body.

“It’s unfortunate that his (Syed Ali Geelani’s) body was maltreated and desecrated. It’s sad that a person who is dead was not treated with dignity. We cannot do revenge politics on a dead man’s body.” Mehbooba Mufti had said.

It is pertinent to mention here that Geelani’s family had accused the police of forcefully lifting his body without ablution and burying him in haste, with no close family member attending his funeral. However, the police had denied such allegations.

Soon after Geelani’s death, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a statement and condemned the Indian government for allegedly denying the separatist leader’s family the right to give him a proper Islamic burial.

Meanwhile, police in a statement issued here this evening said that after Geelani’s death, IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar and other senior police officers met both of his sons at their residence at 11pm and requested for burial in the night for larger interest of general public due to potential major law and order situations.

“Both agreed and asked to wait for two hours until relatives reach. IGP Kashmir personally spoke to a few relatives and ensured them of safe passage. However, 3hrs later probably under the pressure from Pakistan & miscreants they behaved differently & started resorting to anti-national activities including wrapping dead body in Pakistani flag, making loud sloganeering in favour of Pakistan and instigating neighbours to come out,” a police spokesperson said.

After persuasion, he said, the relatives brought the body to the graveyard and performed last rites with due respect in presence of members of Intizamia Committee and local Imam.

“The refusal of both his sons to come to graveyard indicated their loyalty to Pakistani agenda rather than their love & respect for their departed father,” he added.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

A media graduate from LPU, Zaid Bin Shabir is a Srinagar based journalist whose works have appeared in many local and international publications.

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