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Geelani to lead prayers for Osama

india Updated: May 05, 2011 17:55 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

Hardline Kashmir separatist group Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has planned to lead last rite prayers in absentia on Friday in Srinagar for slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Fearing trouble, the police have restricted Geelani's movement on Thursday.

"All religious figures, heads and people in general are appealed to perform Nimaz Jinazah (last rites) in absentia after Friday prayers for the martyr (Laden). All should also pray for an end of foreign occupation and rule in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Kashmir," said 82-year-old Geelani.

Geelani has emerged only leader from Kashmir separatists' spectrum to publicly call Laden a "martyr". But Geelani was quick to add the 9/11 attacks on the US was "an act of terrorism".

"All Muslims across the globe are brothers. It's the duty of every Muslim to pray for forgiveness and for the best hereafter life for the departed soul of a Muslim," said Geelani, whose house was circled by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday, fearing him taking out a pro-Laden procession in the valley.

"The slain Laden had entire Muslim world's pain in him. He (Laden) left the life of leisure for the downtrodden and suppressed Muslims of the world. So it’s our duty to repay his good deeds by praying for him," said Geelani.

The Hurriyat chairman is scheduled to perform prayers on Friday at Srinagar's Batamaloo area. "Geelani sahib would lead a special prayers session for Laden. But since 7am on Thursday, the police disallowed Geelani to move out of his house," said Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar.

Geelani resides in Srinagar's uptown area of Hyderpora. The police have deployed vehicles at the approach lane of Geelani's house and fanned out policemen in the area. Geelani was asked by the police not to venture out of his house till further orders.

There has been no street reaction to the killing of Laden by the US forces inside Pakistan on last Sunday night. Most people have distanced themselves from expressing any sympathy for the Qaeda leader till date.

Geelani, however, has condemned the US for burying the body of Laden at the sea, terming it "an act of Stone Age times."

The ailing Kashmiri separatist leader went ahead and said: "Laden was not just a name of a person but of an ideology and thinking against occupation of Muslim lands by foreigners."

"The Western countries should realize that suppression and occupation meted to Muslims in their lands will manifest resistance time and again," warned Geelani.