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02 Sep 2021: Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Kashmiri separatist leader, passes away
Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has passed away. He was 92. His family sources confirmed that he died at around 10:30 pm on Wednesday. The hardliner leader, who was the face of the separatist movement in Jammu and Kashmir for the longest time, had notably quit from the Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella body of separatist parties formed in 1993, last year.
Politician: Who was Geelani?
Born in 1929, Geelani was responsible for fanning anti-India sentiments in Kashmir. He had called for numerous shutdowns in Kashmir in response to the death of militants, at the hands of security agencies, and the demise of civilians. He had won legislative assembly elections from Sopore three times — in 1972, 1977, and 1987. Geelani had been mostly under house arrest since 2010.
Fact: Saddened by the news of Geelani's passing away, tweets Mufti
Reason: Geelani had received criticism for "response" to Article 370 move
At the time, it was reported that his decision to resign could have stemmed from the criticism he received from groups in Pakistan for not being able to respond "adequately" to Centre's Article 370 move. To recall, in August 2019, the BJP-led government revoked the contentious Article, which rewarded special status to Jammu and Kashmir; and split it into two Union Territories.
Fact: Years ago, Geelani declared he wasn't an "Indian by birth"
The hardline separatist leader was never a fan of India's democratic processes and in 2015 openly declared he was not "an Indian by birth," after mentioning nationality as "Indian" in his passport application. Geelani said it was a "compulsion".
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