Indian Police Charge Family of Late Kashmir Leader Geelani Under Anti-Terror Law
10:34 GMT 05.09.2021 (Updated: 18:01 GMT 08.12.2022)
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Kashmir's most influential separatist leader, passed away on 1 September. Soon after his death, a strict curfew was imposed across the Kashmir Valley, with large contingents of Indian Army personnel manning the roads.
Police in Indian-administered Kashmir have registered a case against family members and relatives of the late Syed Ali Geelani for “unlawful activities” following his death on Wednesday.
Police have charged Geelani's family members under a strict anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, for allegedly using anti-India slogans and ostensibly wrapping his body in the Pakistani flag.
Slamming the Indian government for filing a police case against the family members of late Syed Ali Geelani, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter and said, this is “just another shameful example of India’s descent into fascism under the Nazi-inspired RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh]-BJP govt [Bharatiya Janata Party government].”
A senior police officer told the Global News Service (GNS) that “besides the family and relatives, the case has also been registered against some miscreants who created unlawful activities at Geelani’s residence on the evening of 1 September.”
"FIR (a police report) has been registered into all anti-national activities," said Dilbag Singh, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The complaint was filed after videos emerged on social media, purportedly showing that the body of the separatist leader was wrapped in the Pakistani flag before it was taken by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. He was buried on 2 September.
91-year-old Geelani, who was the face of Kashmir's resistance against New Delhi and had been under house arrest for years, passed away on Wednesday in Kashmir after a prolonged illness. 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 on 3 September. Mobile internet service, however, remain blocked. The police have also enforced restrictions to prevent gatherings.
The anti-terror law was amended in 2019 to allow the government to designate an individual as a terrorist. Police are allowed to detain a person for six months without producing any evidence, and the accused can subsequently be imprisoned for up to seven years.