Indian police videos of Kashmir leader’s funeral stir fresh anger

Indian police videos of Kashmir leader’s funeral stir fresh anger

Anger mounts in disputed region over police footage of Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s funeral, which his family say they were barred from attending.

Indian security forces are maintaining an armed guard around the grave of an iconic Kashmir separatist leader, amid mounting public anger over police footage of his funeral, which his family say they were barred from attending.

Since the death last Wednesday at the age of 92 of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a leading separatist voice for the past five decades, Indian authorities have imposed a security clampdown in the contested Himalayan region.
His son, Naseem Geelani, told Al Jazeera the next day that armed police “snatched his (Geelani’s) body and forcibly buried him” in the middle of the night and “would not allow any of us to participate in final prayers.”Police have denied the accusations, but they have sparked new outrage after sharing videos of Geelani’s body being washed, wrapped in a shroud, and buried on Twitter on Monday.Fearing protests, his burial in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, is guarded by armed security, and visitors are not allowed.

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

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

 

“I believe his family and the people of Kashmir have been hurt. The police should apologise for their actions, according the jurist.

Police issued the clips after a video widely shared on social media showed Geelani’s body, wrapped in a Pakistan flag, being taken away by the armed police as his family scuffled with police officers.

Security forces then issued a statement, saying Geelani’s sons initially agreed to a quick funeral but changed their minds “probably under the pressure from Pakistan” and “started resorting to anti-national activities”.


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