Occupied Srinagar: Indian forces maintained an armed guard around the grave of Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday, amid mounting public anger over police footage of his funeral, which his family said they were barred from attending.
Indian authorities have imposed a security clampdown in the contested Himalayan region since the death of Syed Ali Geelani, a leading voice over the past five decades, last week at the age of 92.
His family say the icon's body was forcibly taken away and buried in the middle of the night and his sons were kept away from the last rites and burial. Police have denied the accusations, but faced fresh outrage after posting video on Twitter Monday showing Geelani's body being washed, wrapped in a shroud and buried.
Fearing protests, his grave in Kashmir's main city of occupied Srinagar is under armed guard and visitors are not allowed.
Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, the most senior Islamic jurist in Illegally Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), which is also claimed by Pakistan, condemned the police action as "un-Islamic".
He told AFP the body of a deceased person must be respected even if it is a "criminal sentenced to death".
"I think his family is hurt and the people of Kashmir are hurt. Police should apologise for doing this," the jurist said.
Police issued the clips after a video widely shared on social media showed Geelani's body, wrapped in a Pakistan flag, being taken away by armed police as his family scuffled with police.
Security forces then issued a statement saying Geelani's sons initially agreed to a quick funeral but changed their minds "probably under the pressure from Pakistan" and "started resorting to anti-national activities."
It added that "after persuasion", Geelani's relatives brought the body to the graveyard "and performed last rites with due respect." It did not name which relatives were present.