Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Saturday visited assassinated Jamiat-al-Hadith president Molvi Showkat Shah's house and called for an end to Muslims killing their own bretheren.
"We need to put a check on Muslims killing Muslims. It's unfortunate Muslims are taking up weapons against their brethren. The Quran is clear that Muslim brethren should be compassionate and affectionate to each other," said 82-year-old Geelani while condemning the killing.
Shah was killed on Friday afternoon when a bomb fitted on a bicycle was detonated by unknown armed men near a mosque in Srinagar's Gawkadal area. Shah (55) died on the way to hospital due to splinter injuries.
Geelani reiterated the pledge to pursue peaceful struggle against "Indian occupation".
"We are slaves and the occupational troops are using all brute methods and black laws like Public Safety Act to break our resolve. Our youth are being put behind the bars and our rights trampled by the barrel of gun. I urge people that despite provocations by troops, we need to resolve to pursue a peaceful struggle and not the violent one," said Geelani, also a political rival of the slain religious leader.
Geelani was among the other top separatist leaders who visited the bereaved family on Saturday. Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and J-K Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik also visited Shah's house.
"The inhumane murder of the Moulana was murder of a pious man, great preacher and political leader," said Mirwaiz.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah also met the family members and expressed condolences.
"I am deeply pained at the killing of a noble person and a religious scholar of high echelon," said the chief minister, who offered fateh (special prayers for dead) to the slain religious figure.
"Showkat killing is a great loss to the society and those responsible for it have displayed their dastardly attitude towards humanity," said Abdullah.
A complete shutdown was observed in all districts of the Kashmir Valley. Schools, colleges and most government offices remained closed and only private vehicles plied the roads. The JKLF has given out a two-day shutdown programme against the killing.
Additional security forces were deployed in most sensitive locations in Srinagar, south and north Kashmir to prevent protesters from taking to streets. However, hundreds of Shah' supporters on their way to the slain leader's home were not stopped by the security personnel.
"No major untoward incident was reported from any area in Srinagar, except uptown Bemina, where a minor protest was held," said a senior cop.