Indian police releases videos of Ali Geelani’s funeral, stirs anger

Indian police releases videos of Ali Geelani's funeral, stirs anger

In the wake of public outrage over police video of Ali Geelani’s funeral, which his family claims they were prevented from attending, Indian security forces are keeping an armed watch over the tomb of a famous Kashmir rebel leader.

Since the death last Wednesday at the age of 92 of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a prominent separatist advocate for the last five decades, Indian authorities have enforced a security clampdown in the disputed Himalayan territory.

His son, Naseem Geelani, informed the following day that armed police “snatched his (Geelani’s) body and forcibly buried him” in the middle of the night and

Police have rejected the allegations, but they have sparked further uproar after releasing footage of Geelani’s corpse being cleaned, wrapped in a shroud, and buried on Twitter on Monday.

Fearing protests, his tomb in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, is guarded by armed guards, and visits are not permitted.

The police conduct was denounced as “un-Islamic” by Mufti Nasir ul Islam, the most senior Islamic jurist in India’s sole Muslim-majority area, which is also claimed by Pakistan.

He told the AFP news agency that the body of a deceased person must be respected even if it is a “criminal sentenced to death”.

“I think his family is hurt and the people of Kashmir are hurt. Police should apologize for doing this,” the jurist said

After a video went viral on social media showing Geelani’s corpse draped in a Pakistan flag being carried away by armed police while his family fought with cops, police released the footage.

Security forces subsequently released a statement, claiming that Geelani’s sons consented to a hasty funeral at first, but then changed their minds “probably under the pressure from Pakistan” and “started resorting to anti-national activities”.

It added that “after persuasion”, Geelani’s relatives brought the body to the graveyard “and performed last rites with due respect.” It did not name which relatives were present.

Following Geelani’s death, Indian officials shut mobile phone and internet access throughout Kashmir, with services just recently resuming on Sunday.

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