Pakistan on Monday strongly condemned the “reprehensible act” of registration of cases against the grieving family members of the iconic Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani by the Indian occupation forces.
Geelani’s family was charged under a draconian anti-terrorism law for chanting pro-freedom slogans and wrapping the body of Hurriyat leader with Pakistan’s flag after he died, officials in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) said.
Police in IIOJK said a case under the so-called Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) — which effectively allows people to be held without trial indefinitely — was registered on Saturday against the Geelani’s family.
Geelani’s son Naseem said that police took his father’s body away to be buried in the middle of the night just hours after his death and did not allow the family to perform last rites.
“We told the visiting police officers that they had taken control of everything after my father’s death and that we were mourning. We had no way of knowing who was doing what,” the son told AFP on Sunday.
In a statement, the Foreign Office spokesperson said that after denying the family the right to bury Syed Ali Shah Geelani as per his will, the Indian forces had further resorted to harassing his family by registering cases against them on trumped-up charges.
He said that India’s mistreatment of the Geelani’s family was part of its agenda to force Kashmiris to prevent them from demanding the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination. “However, it will never succeed, as the resolve of the Kashmiri people is getting strengthened with the passing of every day,” he added.
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The spokesperson urged the international community to take serious note of this unprecedented repression, and the persisting systematic human rights violations in the IIOJK.
He also called for holding India to account for its inhuman, unjust and illegal actions.
A video widely shared on social media showed the Kashmiri leader’s body wrapped in a Pakistani flag before police officers took it away amid a scuffle with his family members.
Chants of “we want freedom” were heard in the background during the mayhem.
Prime Minister Imran Khan came down hard on the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for snatching the body and registering a case against the family.
The premier said on Twitter that it was “another shameful example of India’s descent into fascism under the Nazi-inspired RSS-BJP govt”.
Snatching the body of the 92 year old Syed Ali Geelani, one of the most respected & principled Kashmiri ldrs, & then registering cases against his family is just another shameful example of India’s descent into fascism under the Nazi-inspired RSS-BJP govthttps://t.co/GUZswvIRwN
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 5, 2021
Anger has simmered in the territory since 2019 when New Delhi controversially revoked the occupied region’s semi-autonomy and brought it under direct rule.
Residents in the Muslim-majority region say repression has intensified in the two years since the changes.
India has used the vaguely-worded UAPA legislation against thousands of Kashmiri residents, journalists and dissidents, according to activists.
(With additional input from AFP)