Naseed Geelani, son of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has denied reports of the death of his father, which had appeared yesterday in one Pakistan based media house. “Geelani is ok & alive, Rumor about his death is false and baseless”, Naseem told KNS Kashmir, responding to the media reports.
Yesterday, Pakistani media house Daily Times had reported that Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani had passed away due to a serious illness. The report had said that Geelani died on Wednesday, and the funeral prayers were to be held today. The report had quoted a written statement issued by Hurriyat, saying that the separatist leader was suffering from chest infection and he was not responding to the ongoing treatment.
Several social media users had shared the Daily Times report on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, saying that Geelani has died. But now his son had denied the news report, and has confirmed that his father is ok and alive.
Born in 1929, Syed Ali Shah Geelani is 91 years old, and he is suffering from health issued for several months. In fact, the rumours of his death had emerged earlier this year too, which the family was forced to deny. Internet connections were snapped in February this year to prevent the spread of rumours of his death, which could have led to law and order problems. In 2014 also, rumours of Geelani’s death had spread.
In June this year, Geelani had resigned from the Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of separatist groups in the Valley. He had written a detailed two-page letter highlighting the reasons behind his resignation from the Hurriyat Conference. As per the letter, Geelani was sidelined by the Pakistani chapter of Hurriyat in the key-decision making process for the past 2 years. Besides, he had revealed that his colleagues had also began to maintain distance from him.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani is considered as the senior-most Hurriyat leader, which itself is sponsored by Pakistan. Geelani was previously a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir but later on founded his own party by the name of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He has served as the Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, a conglomerate of separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir. He became an MLA from Sopore constituency first in 1972 and went on to become MLA for two more terms.