Uncertainty in Valley as rumours swirl around health status of ailing Hurriyat hawk

A press release issued by Pakistan office of All Hurriyat Conference that Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s health condition was deteriorating with every passing day added to the confusion

 Syed Ali Shah Geelani
Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Gulzar Bhat

The Valley of Kashmir has been again caught in the throes of uncertainty with rumours flying thick and fast about the deteriorating health of aging separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

A press release issued by the Pakistan office of the All Hurriyat Conference began doing rounds across the social media platforms late on Wednesday evening.

The press release said that the health condition of Geelani was deteriorating with every passing day.

"In addition to the general physical weakness he has been experiencing for some time now, his chest infection is not satisfactorily responding to treatment. Thus, a state of complete uncertainty prevails,” said the press release issued on Wednesday.

The press release asked the people to pray and hope for the ailing leader, but meantime to be ready for the worst.

Stating that government will impose curfew and block communication channels following the death of octogenarian leader, the press release asked people to immediately rush towards Eidgah where the funeral will be held.

As soon as the Hurriyat statement surfaced on the social media, the authorities in the Valley shut down the low speed data services, resumed last month after remaining off-limits for nearly six months.

"There is a strange uncertainty. The rumours are rife about Geelani's demise. Nobody knows anything for sure," said Tariq Ahmad, a local resident of Srinagar.

A band of young men in Srinagar said that the Hurriyat statement and subsequent internet blockade set the streets of Valley's buzzing with rumours.

Ghulam Mohammad, who runs a shop in Pulwama, said that he had heard on the grapevine that curfew was imposed in Srinagar.

A senior official, however, said that there were no restrictions or curfew in any part of the Valley.

The official also dismissed the reports of Hurriyat hawk's death as mere rumours.

Well informed sources told news agency Asiaville that Geelani is stable but has been in a critical condition for past few days.

The leader, who is known for his unwavering stance, supports the merger of Kashmir with Pakistan.

The rumour mills went into an overdrive at a time when a third batch of over 25 foreign envoys were visiting the Valley.

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