Ailing Geelani unites separatist doves, hawks first time since division
Ailing hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani, 84, on Saturday united several rival factions of the Hurriyat and ideologically diametrical separatist leaders for the first time since the conglomerate split a decade ago.Updated: Mar 08, 2014 18:44 IST
Ailing hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani, 84, on Saturday united several rival factions of the Hurriyat and ideologically diametrical separatist leaders for the first time since the conglomerate split a decade ago.
Since morning, several moderate, secularists and rival separatist leaders trickled at the Srinagar residence of Geelani, who was unwell after a severe chest congestion attack and has lost 10 kg in one week.
Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, whose general and working committee members met at the Raj Bagh office in Srinagar, prayed for the speedy recovery of Geelani.
The breakaway faction of moderate Hurriyat, Hurriyat Conference Jammu-Kashmir, led by Shabir Ahmad Shah also visited Geelani.
"Continuous house arrest of the leader is severely affecting his health condition," alleged Shah, who called Geelani "voice of oppressed Kashmiri nation".
JKLF chief Yasin Malik also went to enquire about the condition of Geelani, who on Friday refused to be admitted to a hospital.
Other splinter factions, who may have ideological differences with Geelani, organised special prayers for his recovery.
Hardline all-woman group Dukhtaran-e-Milat chief Asiya Andrabi also called upon Geelani at his residence.
Meanwhile, Geelani showed signs of improvement on Saturday. "Thanks to the Almighty Allah, there is a lot of improvement in his health condition," said Geelani's son Naseem Geelani.
Geelani suffers from multiple ailments. His kidney as well as gall bladder has been removed in two separate surgeries. He underwent a surgery during his incarceration in Ranchi jail in 2002.
In 2007, half of his lone kidney was removed after it developed malignancy. The separatist leader is on a pace-maker implanted in 1997. Besides, he is also suffering from bronchitis.
"The chest infection is subsiding. He is on antibiotics and is responding to the medicine," said Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar.
There were reports of Geelani supporters sacrificing sheep for speedy recovery of their leader in north Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir police are closely monitoring the situation. It has already removed the police deployments outside the aging separatist leader for smooth movement of people and medical facilities.
First Published: Mar 08, 2014 18:31 IST