Geelani buried amid curfew, communication shut down

Security personnel keep vigil in Srinagar City on Thursday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Security personnel keep vigil in Srinagar City on Thursday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Restrictions to continue today

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR Sept 2: The veteran separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who passed away last evening at his Srinagar residence, was laid to rest early today amid curfew restrictions and communication blockade.
Geelani, 92, breathed his last after developing serious breathing issues at his residence in Hyderpora area of Srinagar last evening.
Soon after the news of his death spread across Srinagar, senior officers of police and the CRPF rushed to Hyderpora and sealed his residence and ordered the deployment of large number of security forces to prevent any law-and-order issue.
Younger son of the separatist leader, Syed Naseem Geelani told Excelsior that none of the family members attended the last rites of his father.
“Police facilitated in bringing dead-body from house to graveyard as there was apprehension that miscreants might take undue advantage of situation. Relatives participated in last rites”, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said. Click here to watch video
With the pre-dawn burial of Geelani to prevent any law-and-order issue, entire Kashmir was put under strict curfew like restrictions with mobile phones and internet shut. BSNL was the only tele-communication Company that allowed voice-calling on its network.
People woke up to see stringent curfew in place with police and paramilitary personnel deployed heavily across Srinagar and other major towns. The roads leading to Hyderpora were sealed while the downtown area of the city was put under strict curbs.
The roads were barricaded with concertina wires and no one was allowed to venture out.
The Srinagar airport bound vehicles carrying passengers were allowed to proceed after thorough checking and questioning of passengers towards the airport.
The IGP said that restrictions will continue to remain in place in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir tomorrow as well as a precautionary measure.
“Since it is Friday, there are apprehensions that some vested interests may disrupt the peaceful atmosphere. So, restrictions will remain in force tomorrow (Friday),” he said.
On restoring the mobile phone connectivity, he said decision to restore mobile communications in Kashmir will be taken in a review meeting scheduled to be held Friday evening.
“The restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure as there was continuous instigation by terrorists and Pakistani handlers. There was threat to peace and potential law and order situations”, he said.
He said that today the situation across the Valley remained peaceful and no any untoward incident was reported.
Kumar thanked and appreciated the co-operation of the general public in maintaining the peaceful situation throughout the Valley which defeated the ill designs of inimical elements who are hell-bent to disturb the otherwise peaceful atmosphere in the Valley. “It is also pertinent to mention here that similar restrictions and internet shutdown will continue tomorrow. We shall review the situation tomorrow afternoon and take further course of action,” he said.
In the wake of restrictions imposed by the authorities, Kashmir University announced the postponement of undergraduate exams that were scheduled for September 2 and September 3 respectively.
An official said that the Kashmir University has postponed all the undergraduate exams that were slated for September 2 and 3. “New dates will be announced shortly,” the official said.
Similarly, J&K Board of School Education (BOSE) postponed Bi-annual examinations for class 10th and 12th of Kashmir division that were scheduled to be held on September 3 and September 5 respectively.