Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away at 10:30 pm at his Srinagar residence.
Geelani was a stalwart leader of the Hurriyat Conference and was unwell for some time.
He was previously a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir but later on founded Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He has served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of pro-resistance parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
Who was Syed Ali Shah Geelani
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a veteran of Kashmiri politics, was the leader of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and a staunch opponent of union with India.
Born in a town in the Bandipora(now Baramulla) area of north Kashmir on September 29, 1929, Geelani received his preliminary education at Sopore and finished his studies at the Oriental College, Lahore (Pakistan).
Political carrier of Syed Ali Shah Geelani
Geelani initially formed the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat in the early days of his political career, but then abandoned that platform to join the more established Jamaat-e-Islami (Jammu and Kashmir). He then used the name of his original political party (re-formed in 2003) for his faction of the APHC, in contrast with the faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, which is known as the “moderate” APHC.
Geelani began his political career in 1950 and has spent, all told, more than a decade in jail. He was first imprisoned in 1962 but has spent several spells in jail (ranging from days at a time to just over a year) from then onwards, with the Indian authorities often arresting him before elections. The JI leader has frequently termed polls held under the Indian government as “sham polls”.
Geelani’s participation in the electoral process lasted until 1989 when the armed Kashmiri resistance to Indian rule in Indian-administered Kashmir began. He resigned his seat in the legislature in protest at the time and had boycotted all elections.
The JI leader was diagnosed with renal cancer in 2007, but from his home in Srinagar, he remained a major force in Kashmiri politics.