Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is not feeling well for past several days, on Monday said continuous confinement to house is taking heavy toll on his health.
The octogenarian pro-freedom leader is suffering with chest congestion and is undergoing treatment at his Hyderpora residence. After complaining of breathlessness, Geelani was administered oxygen on Sunday morning. “By Almighty Allah’s blessings, I am gradually recovering and feeling a bit better now,” Geelani said sitting in his drawing room.
Pointing towards medicines and injection vials on his side table, he said, “I ensure to take these on time.”
Coughing intermittently, 86-year old Geelani regularly puts on a mask for nebulisation. “During winters, I face health problems. For past several years, I used to go to Delhi during winter, but this year I preferred to stay here,” he said. “But more than cold or infection, the illegal confinement to my house is taking toll on my health,” Geelani said.
“Since 2010, I am under continuous house arrest whenever I am in Srinagar. Even now when I am not feeling well and unable to walk properly, I am still under house arrest. This is grave human rights violation,” he said.
Geelani has a pacemaker installed since 1997. In 2003, his left kidney was removed at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai as it had developed carcinoma. In 2004, his gall bladder was removed at Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi. He was again operated upon in 2007 and half of his right kidney was removed. In 2008, a new pace maker was installed at Escorts Heart Institute Delhi. In 2010, his eyes were operated upon at Apollo Hospital in Delhi.
“Doctors have advised me regular walk in open area. Successive regimes have turned my house into a virtual jail. Due to illegal confinement, I am not even able to perform my religious and social obligations,” he said.
Advised rest by doctors, Geelani spends the day offering prayers and reading newspapers. “Despite health complications, I ensure to keep myself abreast with happenings in Kashmir. At the same time, I am overwhelmed by the concern of people for me. But they should understand that these days I cannot meet all visitors due to health complications,” he said.
Donning a woollen cap and grey sweater, Geelani said, “I will decide on shifting to Delhi if doctors allow me.”
Geelani’s family members said he is recovering. “There has been considerable improvement in his health. His medical tests are normal. We appeal people not to spread rumours on social networking sites about Geelani sahib’s health,” Geelani’s son NaseemGeelani said.
On Monday, a few people were allowed to meet Geelani. “You should take care of your health. Precautions are must to avoid cold and infection,” Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik advised Geelani.
Dr Naveed Nazir, a chest specialist said Geelani is responding to treatment. “He is asthmatic and is suffering with chest congestion due to infection. I prescribed medicines and advised regular nebulisation. It will take some days more for Geelani sahib to fully recover. However, I have advised not to allow any visitors to his room as his immune system is weak and is vulnerable to infection,” Dr Naveed said.
Hurriyat (G) has notified telephone numbers for inquiring about Geelani’s health. “We are flooded with calls from within and outside Jammu and Kashmir. It is a tough time to restrict well-wishers from personally meeting Geelani sahib,” said Hurriyat (G) office bearers manning the reception of Geelani’s house.