Amid rumours of Geelani’s death, J&K reviews security
SRINAGAR: The Jammu & Kashmir administration has reviewed its plan to tighten security in Kashmir to brace itself for any eventuality following multiple rumours that ailing 90-year-old Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is no more.
Jammu and Kashmir police discussed what is informally referred to as a ‘G-Plan’ during at least two top-level meetings in December, said senior government functionaries. The ‘health of Geelani’ will remain a talking point within the administration in 2020, as was the concern in past few years. His ‘funeral gathering’, an official said, cannot be allowed to get out of control.
“How to go about it (funeral gathering) was discussed at the meetings, like many other issues that have to be dealt with in 2020,” a senior government functionary told Economic Times. The govt gets regular updates on his health and has prepared a blueprint on the preparedness for his funeral.
“We have to remain alert in case of any development. We have to think ahead and be prepared for any scenario,” a senior police official told ET.
The administration has been able to control the situation successfully after August 5, when J&K’s special status was revoked, and the official claimed that they would not want to take any chance in this regard as well.
“His health, his funeral and aftereffects of his death have remained a talking point within the administration for a few years now. For example, in 2018, when he fell acutely ill, the government actively discussed the issue at many meetings,” a senior government official told ET. That year, officials would often say that normalcy in Kashmir is dependent of two things, “health of PDP-BJP coalition and the health of Geelani.”
“And then the BJP pulled out of the coalition and rest is history…” said another government official.
Geelani has been under house arrest since 2010 and was allowed to visit doctors in and outside the state a few times, a senior government official said. The government doesn’t allow anybody, other than close relatives, to visit Geelani at his residence in Hyderpora. He is allowed to visit the hospital for regular checkups. He was recently shifted to a local hospital briefly after he complained of chest pain. According to officials, he was suffering from acute chest infection recently, which triggers multiple problems, because of the intake of high doses of antibiotics.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani is suffering from multiple ailments including cardiac and renal dysfunctions and the harsh winter has added to his age-related problems. Geelani used to move to Delhi during winters, but has stopped this practice for the past few years.