Pro-Pakistan Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani died at the age of 92 at his home in Srinagar late on Wednesday evening. The hardliner Islamist leader -- who has been the face of the separatist politics in Jammu and Kashmir -- had been ailing for long and had resigned from politics and Hurriyat last year. The funeral took place this morning.
In March 2018, he suffered a minor heart attack and was hospitalised.
"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," former Chief Minister and People's Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti has tweeted.
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.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) September 1, 2021
Security has been strengthened in Kashmir Valley following his death late on Wednesday evening.
Restrictions, including suspension of internet services, have been imposed in Kashmir Valley, said Vijay Kumar, a senior police officer in Kashmir. Security has also been strengthened outside Mr Geelani's house in Hyderpora. Mobile phone services, except that of BSNL, too have been suspended.
Some senior members of Hurriyat have been detained. Senior Hurriyat leader Mukhtar Ahmed Waza has been arrested from his residence in South Kashmir's Anantnag town.
Mr Geelani had quit the separatist body after 27 years' association, after he was sidelined by Pakistan and its army intelligence, the ISI, sources in the home ministry had told NDTV.
While stepping down from Kashmir Valley's biggest separatist amalgam, he accused it of conspiring against him and failing to fire up the separatist movement after Centre scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.
"Geelani's letter was an eye-opener. He admitted his path was wrong, Kashmir used for personal gains," state police chief Dilbagh Singh had told NDTV.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani was elected to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly from the Sopore constituency in 1972, 1977 and in 1987.