Geelani’s son arrested, family barred from meeting ailing leader
Srinagar, Oct 22 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday arrested the elder son of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and stopped his younger son from entering the octogenarian leader’s residence, virtually cutting him off from all family contact, sources told IANS.
Naim Geelani, a doctor at a government hospital here, was arrested at around 10 a.m. when he was on his way to the Hyderpora residence of the hardline Hurriyat leader.
“He was not allowed inside the house and police arrested him,” a family source told IANS.
The arrest came ahead of the senior Geelani’s scheduled “address to the nation” over telephone on Saturday afternoon. The address could not take place due to the jammers placed by the state authorities around the Hyderpora residence.
Geelani’s younger son, Naseem Geelani, an assistant professor at the Sheri-Kashmir Agricultural University of Science and Technology, was stopped by policemen from entering his father’s house in the morning. “You are not allowed to meet Geelani,” the police told Naseem.
Naseem later took to Facebook to vent his anger. In an emotional attack on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Naseem posted, “I want to ask one simple question to Mohtarma Mehbooba Mufti. When someone even mentions your father’s name, you break into tears. What about my ailing father who waits to see me everyday?”
The 88-year-old Hurriyat conference chairman is suffering from heart ailment, kidney problems and respiratory issues, family sources told IANS.
“He has a pacemaker in heart, is surviving on half a kidney and has multiple other health issues. We (sons) need to see him daily and take his care. But we are not allowed,” Naseem said.
“Even my elder brother has been detained,” Naseem told IANS, adding, “He has been taken to Humhama police station”.
The police has barred the entry of the senior Geelani’s family members, media and most visitors to his residence.
“Authorities have also installed jammers at the residence to block all phone connectivity,” the source added.
Geelani, who has been leading the unrest in Kashmir Valley since the July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, has been under continuous house arrest.
Geelani along with other separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, has been issuing the “protest calendars” every week under the banner of “Joint Resistance Leadership”.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had in mid August summoned Naim Geelani and questioned him in connection with a Preliminary Enquiry registered by the probe agency.
Of late, the state police and security agencies have arrested hundreds of separatist leaders and party workers, including those the government feels are “instigators” of the violence.