A series of videos have surfaced showing the body of separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani was wrapped in the Pakistani flag before it was taken into custody by the Jammu and Kashmir Police who gave him a quiet burial on Thursday morning. The police said a case has been registered under the strict anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act or UAPA.
The 92-year-old pro-Pakistan separatist died on Wednesday evening. His death was followed by a security clampdown and suspension of phone and internet services in Kashmir.
The videos surfaced after broadband internet and phone services were restored in Kashmir last night. Mobile internet service, however, remain blocked. The police have also enforced restrictions to prevent gatherings.
In one of the videos, several people, mostly women, are seen around the body of Syed Ali Shah Geelani wrapped in a Pakistani flag.
There is commotion and sloganeering in the room. Women appear to be resisting amid a lot of pushing and shoving at the door. An armed policeman is also seen in the jam-packed room, walls inscribed with religious verses.
The hard-line separatist was given a low-key burial before dawn on Thursday. The family allege that the body was forcibly taken away by the police and they were not even allowed to participate in the last rights.
“FIR has been registered into all anti-national activities,” said Dilbag Singh, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police.
Mr Singh said people at the separatist’s home misbehaved with a Senior Superintendent of Police and other policemen and there was a lot of anti-national sloganeering and attempts to instigate people by using social media and phone calls.
“We never expected such unruly behaviour by the family and other people at Geelani house especially since the police was in regular touch with the family and Geelani Sahab. In fact, Geelani Sahab gifted a book to one of our officers when he visited him last week,” said Mr Singh.
The Geelani family allege that the body was forcibly taken by police who broke down doors and misbehaved with women.
“We wanted burial in the morning but police refused. They broke open doors and misbehaved with women. We couldn’t attend last rights after they took the body forcibly,” said Naseem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
But the police said some relatives of Mr Geelani did participate in his funeral prayers. The separatist was buried at a burial ground near his residence at Hyderpora on Srinagar airport road.
For the last three days, restrictions have been imposed across Kashmir. All shops are closed and public transport is off the roads.
No congregational prayers were allowed in any major mosques and shrines on Friday.
While many are surprised over the restrictions and control measures after the natural death of the 92-year-old separatist, police sources say there was an assessment that a large number of people will gather at his funeral which could have become a major separatist spectacle and there was a possibility of violence.