Strikes, street fights in Held Kashmir: Curfew breached, protest erupts against Geelani's forced burial by India

SRINAGAR/ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Indian security forces imposed a curfew across the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) on Friday after strikes and street protests over the mishandling of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani’s mortal remains by the security forces.

An internet and mobile phone shutdown ordered after the iconic Hurriyat leader died late Wednesday continued for the second day. Security forces were deployed around major mosques that remained closed, but special prayers for Geelani were held in a few smaller sites across the Muslim majority region.

Thousands of police and troops patrolled the streets to keep people indoors following clashes between residents and government forces in the main city of Srinagar late Thursday. But dozens of citizens, angry at the refusal to let them pay a public tribute to Geelani, clashed with government forces for the second day, hurling stones at paramilitaries who chased them with batons.

Geelani’s son accused police of taking his father’s body away to be buried in the middle of the night, hours after his death. The family said no relativeswere allowed at the burial but police rejected the allegations as "false propaganda".

A video widely shared on the social media showed officers scuffling with Geelani´s relatives before taking away his body that was wrapped in a Pakistani flag. Pakistan observed a day of official mourning for Geelani on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Friday summoned Indian Charge d’ Affaires to the Foreign Office and conveyed a strong demarche on the Indian occupation forces’ “callous and inhuman” handling of the mortal remains of the iconic Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

“It was conveyed that the Indian occupation forces’ shameless act of snatching the body of Syed Ali Shah Geelani from his family and disallowing burial according to his will was in blatant violation of international humanitarian law and all tenets of civil and human rights,” Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement released to the media.

The occupation forces have repeatedly resorted to indiscriminate use of force against Kashmiris protesting against their inhuman conduct. The spokesperson said in the likely event of the situation spiraling out of control and based on India’s irresponsible behavior in similar situations in the past, there were possibilities of India stage-managing some mischief in the occupied territory to divert world’s attention and to apportion blame on Pakistan or Kashmiri Hurriyat leadership for its own indefensible actions in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).

It was emphasized to the Indian charge d’ affaires that India must refrain from any missteps that might further jeopardize regional peace.

He was reminded of Pakistan’s consistent stance that the Government of India must immediately lift the illegal military siege of IIOJ&K, desist from measures to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, withdraw its over 900,000 occupation troops and cease all human rights violations forthwith.

The charge d’ affaires was conveyed Pakistan’s principled position that lasting and durable peace in the region was contingent on the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.