Syed Ali Shah Geelani, an iconic Islamic and resistance leader of Kashmir, passed away on the night of Wednesday 1 September 2021 at the age of 92. As soon as the news of his death spread, the Indian authority blocked the internet and mobile communication and barred all media from covering the events. At 3 am, police entered his house, engaged in an altercation with his grieving family members and forcefully snatched his dead body.
Geelani’s family members wanted to wait till morning to organise the funeral prayer and bury him at the central martyr’s graveyard in Srinagar city. However, police quickly buried his dead body in a local graveyard at 4 am where even his sons and other family members were not allowed to attend a funeral prayer.
The way the Indian authorities dealt with the dead body of this Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir and Hurriyat leader in Kashmir has an incredible similarity with how the Bangladesh government dealt with the dead bodies of the Jamaat leaders in Bangladesh.
Abdul Quader Molla, a Bangladeshi Islamic leader, was executed in prison on 12 December 2013. That night, Bangladeshi police quickly took his dead body to his village and buried him before sunrise.
Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, another Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leader, was also executed by hanging at Dhaka Central Jail on 11 April 2015 and precisely in a similar fashion, police took his dead body to his village. They buried him before sunrise where most of the family members were not allowed to join the funeral prayer.
Mir Quasem Ali was executed on 3 September 2016 and buried at 3 am under tight security measures. He expressed his last wish that his funeral prayer would be led by his son Barrister Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem Arman. However, the Bangaldeshi security forces abducted Mir Ahmad about a month earlier on 9 August 2016, and since then, he has been one of the victims of enforced disappearances in Bangladesh.
Funeral prayers of the other executed Jamaat leaders in Bangladesh, such as Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, were also harshly controlled by the police, and since it was after sunrise when their bodies reached their villages, people joined their funeral prayers in great numbers despite all restrictions and adversities.
All these Jamaat leaders were victims of judicial killing through a sham tribunal, questioned and condemned by many international organisations.
Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country where the government treated the dead bodies of the democratic Islamist leaders in a way similar to the Hindu majority Indian government’s treatment of the dead body of another democratic Islamist leader there.
This has clearly demonstrated that the democratic struggle of the people in both countries is more of a political nature than religious. The regimes in both countries are occupying power by manipulating weak democracy, and both extremist governments are violating people’s rights with striking resemblance.