Syed Ali Geelani

The government first tried to tame Geelani by keeping him under house arrest, but unable to contain his programmes it later detained him. His place of detention remained a secret for some days, until his son was given permission to meet him at Chesma Shahi. Geelani, who turns 80 this year, has been bogged by age and health problems. He was diagnosed of renal cancer and one of his kidneys, malignant, was removed. His stints in detention are known to aggravate his health problems. In 2003, he was released from Ranchi Jail owing to his failing health. In 2008, when he was again detained in the wake of Amarnath agitation, he had to be removed to a hospital.
This time despite his health problems the government seems to prolong his detention. Despite a court order that described his latest detention illegal, Geelani was not released. Pre-empting the court order, the administration was ready with other charges against him, thereby preventing his release.
However, despite Geelani’s detention, the government is unable to contain the spate of protests, or strikes, across Kashmir Valley which started with the Shopain rape and murders. This week Geelani’s Hurriyat faction called for three days of shutdown to protest the killing for four youth in police and CRPF firing in Baramulla. In what seems a tacit understanding, the administration responds to strike calls with undeclared curfews.


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