Riyaz Ul Khaliq
At Hyderpora, the signature police van manning the street of Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani’s residence saw a major shift Saturday. Almost a year after, the vehicle was budged—not before compounding the senior Hurriyat leader’s ailing health condition to an extent of seeking an immediate date in Delhi for compulsory check-up.
Almost a posse of police was there keeping a close eye on Geelani’s passage to Airport. Among those who bid him a brief adieu included his deputy, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Hurriyat (g) Jammu boss, Nayeem Khan and others.
For a while now, the unremitting house detention has been taking huge toll on the health of Geelani, suffering from acute chest infections. Within four walls, he often complains about breathlessness. The two medicos—Dr Umar and Dr Naveed—checking his health status have been prescribing him mandatory daily walks. But, the restrictions at his doorsteps have been—even, barring him from offering Friday congregational prayers.
But today when Geelani bypassed restrictions on health grounds, he walked out as a different person: pale, bushed and haggard. His condition, however, didn’t stop him to mince a few words for Pakistan—fresh from observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day: “Pakistan should not weaken its grip over K-stand.” In the same breath, he said that everyone in Kashmir should stay united before reiterating boycott call for the Local Bodies elections.
Moments after Geelani left, an intriguing scene unfolded in his otherwise ‘occupied’ street. As police tried hard to take the rusty police van out, it just wouldn’t start. It had literally jammed by being confined to one place since April last year—just like the leader.
Before the bunch of cops would line up to push the van, an elderly Hurriyat member watching the scene smirked: “This is the condition of machine, one can only imagine the condition of the man.”