Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani dies at 91
Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani died on Wednesday night in Srinagar, prompting India authorities to deploy troops around the city and shut down the internet as a precautionary measure, police said. He was 91 years old.
“Troops are being deployed at sensitive places in Srinagar and other major towns and no vehicular movement is being allowed,” a police official said.
Geelani was the most senior separatist leader in Kashmir. His family said the elderly politician had been ailing for years and had been under house arrest for the last 12 years after leading several anti-India protests.
A family member told Reuters Geelani developed chest pain and chest congestion on Wednesday afternoon and died late at night at his residence in the region’s main city of Srinagar.
Last year, Geelani quit his hard line Hurriyat Conference faction, saying that it had failed to counter New Delhi’s efforts to tighten its grip on the disputed region.
Hurriyat Conference was formed by various separatist groups in Kashmir in 1993 to provide a political platform for seceding from India in the wake of an armed revolt against New Delhi.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed grief over Geelani’s passing on Twitter and said the nation would observe a day of mourning.