For many, the resignation of Syed Ali Shah Geelani did not come across as a major surprise. The Pakistani voice in Srinagar was losing out on his support and the massive infighting within the Hurriyat Conference is being seen as the two major reasons behind Geelani’s resignation. Geelani for long has been furthering Pakistan’s agenda but off late the octogenarian did not enjoy the kind of ISI backing he did at some point in time.
A frustrated ISI does not see Geelani as someone who would be useful in furthering their agenda especially when they failed miserably in disrupting the law and order situation in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A. The infighting within the Hurriyat Conference and the rivalry with Mirwaiz only propelled Pakistan’s desire to replace Geelani with someone who would have a voice on the ground. Many also see the resignation as an attempt by Geelani to keep his relevance alive in the valley and pave way for his son Nayeem Geelani as his successor.
Nayeem and his son-in-law Altaf Fantoosh have been questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the terror funding case. Geelani, many say, has lost his voice in the valley. The barometer of the same would Geelani’s hartal calls – the waning support for the same reflected Geelani’s relevance.
Over three decades, Geelani played all stakeholders in Kashmir. Republic TV since its inception has exposed Geelani’s duplicity and how successive governments in the valley protected this man who was only furthering Pakistan’s agenda. Over three decades, 56 cases were registered against Geelani. But not once was he prosecuted.
Documents accessed by Republic TV show that the majority of cases are still under investigation. Did successive governments put pressure on J&K police to not act against Geelani? Four cases of murder were registered against Geelani. These cases were registered in 2009, 2011, 2012. All cases are still under investigation. Two cases of extortion were registered in 2012. Five cases of sedition registered from 1996 to 2012. Five cases for waging war against India were registered along with 10 cases of rioting.
Geelani's wealth has also been under the scanner of the investigative agencies. Documents accessed by Republic TV show that Geelani had a tryst with the Income Tax department. A scrutiny of the seized documents and papers by the Income Tax authorities from the premises of SAS Geelani had revealed an undisclosed income of Rs.3.17 crore during the last 6 years for which Geelani was liable to pay a penalty of Rs 1.90 crore. In June 2002, 10,000 US dollars was found during searches by the Income Tax Department at Geelani’s residence in Hyderpora. The IT Department had summoned the separatist leader in 2003 when he failed to declare the source of the money and was unable to offer satisfactory answers to the IT officials.
Despite all this, he did enjoy some political clout as reflected in some official documents accessed by Republic TV. “On January 23, 2003, as per the advice of Home Secretary of J&K and following medical reports he was flown to Mumbai on February 5, 2003 where a surgery for the left renal mass was conducted,” read the official document.