SRINAGAR — Kashmir valley continued to remain under a strict lockdown for the third consecutive day on Saturday with internet services blocked to prevent any protest over the death of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani.
Reports said large contingents of police, paramilitary and army personnel manned the roads which were blocked by barricades and concertina wire throughout the valley.
Though voice calling and broadband internet services were restored late on Friday night after remaining suspended for two days, internet services on mobile remain suspended. An official said mobile internet services are likely to be restored on Sunday evening.
Nonagenarian Geelani passed away on Wednesday evening at his uptown Hyderpora residence after a prolonged illness. Authorities immediately deployed a heavy contingent of security personnel across the Valley to avoid any law and order problem. He was laid to rest at a graveyard barely 500 metres from his house.
A local news gathering agency, quoting his family members, alleged that police snatched the body of Geelani and didn’t allow his two sons to even participate in the burial.
Eyewitnesses said heavy deployment of police, CRPF and mobile vehicles remained stationed outside the Geelani’s residence for the third consecutive day and no one was allowed to visit his house. Roads leading to his residence were sealed with barbed wires, they said.
For the third consecutive day, shops and commercial establishments remained shut across the valley. Public transport was off the roads due to the strict restrictions in place. A police spokesperson said that the situation across Kashmir was under control and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the valley in the past two days.
Meanwhile, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, while paying glowing tributes to Geelani “for his immense contribution and sacrifices on political and resistance fronts” said, “The demise of Geelani Sahib has not only created a big void in the political corridors of Jammu and Kashmir but also marked the completion of an era.”
In a statement, he paid homage to “veteran resistance leader for his consistency, steadfastness and courage and enduring time and again imprisonments and tortures in interrogation centres.”
“The continuous house imprisonment of Geelani Sahib despite his old age and various ailments became reasons for his ill health which ultimately led to his demise,” he added. — (Agencies)