Kashmir separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has passed away at his residence in Hyderpora, Srinagar late Wednesday evening.
The 92-year-old Hurriyat leader was suffering from severe lung ailments and was not keeping well for a long time. As per local media reports, he had developed breathing complications before he passed away around 10.30pm.
In Kashmir, Geelani had gained a stature of being the most upright political leader who never budged before any government.
The founder of Tehreek-e- Hurriyat had been under house arrest for nearly a decade.
As soon as the news of his death was announced, the Jammu and Kashmir police imposed restrictions in the valley.
According to local media, IGP Kashmir, Vinay Kumar said that restrictions have been imposed in view of the Hurriyat leader’s death.
Reports aslo suggest that the internet services are likely to be snapped across Kashmir.
Meanwhile, several mainstream political leaders such as PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference chairman Sajad Ghani Lone have expressed condolences.
“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,” the former J&K chief minister wrote in a tweet.
Sajad lone tweeted, “Heartfelt condolences to the family of Syed Ali Shah Geelani Sahib. Was an esteemed colleague of my late father. May Allah grant him Jannat.”
Imran Khan expresses condolences
It didn’t take long for the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to condole Geelani’s death as the latter had been in favour of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan.
“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,” Imran Khan tweeted.
He also announced that Pakistan will observe a day of “official mourning”.
“We in Pakistan salute his courageous struggle & remember his words: “Hum Pakistani hain aur Pakistan Humara hai”. The Pakistan flag will fly at half mast and we will observe a day of official mourning,” he wrote in another tweet.