The health condition of Syed Ali Geelani, a senior Kashmiri resistance leader, has deteriorated in the past several days, his spokesman said Monday.
The 90-year-old leader, who has been under house arrest for the past 11 years, is facing several health issues including heart and kidney problems, Abdullah Gilani told Anadolu Agency by phone. “Although […] old age has played its part in his physical weakness but unlawful and continued detention has taken a heavy toll on his physical health,” he added. Geelani underwent a heart surgery few years back. The spokesman said that after Aug. 5, when the Indian government scrapped special provisions of the region, Geelani was not being allowed any visitors except a few close family members. The provisions allowed citizens of India’s only Muslim majority state to enact their own laws and barred outsiders from settling in or owning land in the territory.
Tensions have since been high in the region with key leaders detained by Indian authorities. As part of a wider crackdown, internet services have also been blocked except at government-designated kiosks. Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan. India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.