Syed Ali Shah Geelani
|Syed Ali Shah Geelani
سید علی شاہ گیلانی
|All Parties Hurriyat Conference(G)|
29 September 1929 |
Duru, Sopore, Kashmir, India
Syed Ali Shah Geelani (Urdu: سید علی شاہ گیلانی; born 29 September 1929) is a Seperatist leader from Jammu and Kashmir. He was previously a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir but later on founded his own party by the name of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He has served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir. He is an Ex MLA from the Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir.
In November 2011, Geelani called for peaceful protests against the alleged "objectionable anti-Islamic" content on the social networking website Facebook, which he described as a "satanic audacity". His call triggered protests in various parts of the Kashmir valley, leading to minor clashes between the protestors and the security forces. Geelani recently figured in the news when he condemned the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the US.
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah has blamed Geelani for the rise in militancy and bloodshed in Kashmir, while Omar's father and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah has urged Geelani to follow a path which would "save Kashmiri people from further destruction".
He was criticized at a seminar in New Delhi held in October 2010 for his views, because of which he could potentially face sedition charges under section 124(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In July 2012, a National Conference leader accused Geelani of being a double agent. He alleged that while he receives pension from the Government for his membership of J&K Legislative assembly prior to 1990.
Geelani has been diagnosed with renal cancer, and has been recommended by doctors to go overseas for treatment. After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervened, Indian government agencies returned Geelani's passport to his son. His passport was seized in 1981 due to accusations of "anti-India" activities, and with the exception of his Hajj pilgrimage in 2006, he has not been allowed to leave India.
An infection forced doctors, four years ago, to remove his left kidney. Although the cancer was in its early stages, it was life threatening, and he needed to have surgery. Following the advice of his doctors at Apollo Hospital, Geelani was set to travel to either the UK or the United States for specialized treatment. However his request for a visa was turned down by the Americans, and as his health deteriorated he went to Mumbai for surgery. The reason given by the US for turning down Geelani's request for a visa was, that he has criticized U.S policy of war in Iraq. This decision was alleged to be a violation of human rights by his supporters and family, but the US decision received gratuitous support from other corners.
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