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‘People cannot be forced to like or dislike a leader at gunpoint’: Mehbooba flays Modi govt over forced Geelani burial

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said denial of last rites to the family of Syed Ali Geelani was against humanity and had saddened the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The 92-year-old was forcefully buried in a graveyard located in a mosque near his residence in Hyderpura.

“We had our differences with Geelani … A fight is with a living person but once a person dies, the differences should end. The deceased is entitled to dignified last rites,” Mehbooba said after a party meeting in Srinagar.

The former chief minister said the news reports about the denial to Geelani’s family to perform his last rites had saddened the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The family has a right to perform the last rites of a dead person. What we heard and came to know through media reports about disrespect to the deceased, is against humanity. You have to respect your opponent after death like you would respect anyone,” she said.

She said Geelani’s wish to be buried at Eidgah martyrs’ graveyard should have been granted.

“Even a convict sentenced to death is granted one last wish before execution,” Mehbooba said, referring to Geelani’s wish.

The PDP president condemned the alleged misbehaviour with womenfolk of Geelani’s family at the time of his death.

“India is held in high esteem globally for its civilisation and culture… But what has happened does not fit the image of the country,” she added.

Mehbooba said people cannot be forced to like or dislike a leader at gunpoint.

“What happened with the dead body of Geelani has probably generated sympathy among even those who might have had differences with his politics. There was no call, yet the markets were shut down after people came to know about what had happened (on Wednesday night),” she added

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