Syed Ali Shah Geelani dies at 91.

Kashmir’s most prominent separatist leader SASG died late in the evening of 1st September, 2021 at his home in Srinagar on a Wednesday.The hardliner Islamist leader had been unwell for long and had resigned from Hurriyat last year. The funeral took place the next morning. He was one of the hard liner Hurriyat leaders who always advocated against Kashmir’s accession to India..

Syed Ali Shah Geelani was part of the Muslim United Front, Jammat-e-Islami Kashmir and one of the founding members of the All Party Hurriyat Conference. Muslim United Front was formed after Jagmohan Mishra the then Governor of J&K during his first tenure started dismissing prominent politicians from the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. After the 1987 elections which is thought to be rigged many disenchanted citizens crossed to the other side to take up militancy which they thought was the wise step in order to liberate Kashmir. 

The Hurriyat can be broadly categorised into two factions – the hard liners led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the moderates led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. 

Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s Jamaat-e-Islami broke away from the Hurriyat in 2002 because some members from Sajjad Lone’s People Conference had contested as independent candidates during the 2002 elections. Sajjad’s father Abdul Ghani Lone Assassination is credited to the ISI on the behest of Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

In recent years he had raised a firm voice in support of militancy in Kashmir, he was one of the most valuable assets of the ISI in Kashmir and a knight of Islamabad against Delhi. His protest against the killing of a prominent militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen made the militant the poster boy of Modern Day Militancy in Kashmir. 

After the abrogation of Article 370 or the introduction of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 Syed Ali Shah Geelani expressed strong discontent and said that the BJP Government has betrayed the people of J&K by snatching away their birthright. 

Syed Ali Shah Geelani was hated by many and adored by few. His views were anti-India and pro-Pakistani. But the one thing for which he must be credited was his rigid ideological belief which he never changed, perhaps even while drawing his last breaths.

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