The family of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday appealed to people, including journalists, not to circulate any unconfirmed information about his health condition or political opinion as it was taking a "heavy toll" on their personal and domestic lives. In a statement issued in the names of his two sons — Nayeem and Naseem Geelani, the family gave enough indication that they should be spared from any controversial comments as it was affecting the health of the ailing separatist leader as well.
"Past few months have been very hard for all of us. On one hand we are busy dealing with his (Geelani) health condition and we have been consumed physically as well as mentally. On the other hand, continuously dragging the family into his political affairs has taken a heavy toll on our personal and as well as domestic life," the statement read. Geelani announced his resignation from the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of 16 separatist organisations, following differences with the faction's Pakistan-based unit after his nominee Abdullah Geelani was not accepted as the president.
The sons said people with vested interests have launched a vicious campaign to malign the image of Geelani. "Repeated and fabricated letters in his name, posts, comments and imaginary stories are disturbing and affecting his health very badly. We appeal to all including those in the media fraternity or otherwise not to circulate any information about his health, and similarly, any communication of political nature on his behalf without his representative's authentication," they said.
For his resignation, the 90-year-old separatist leader, who was also a three-time MLA from Sopore in north Kashmir, had also cited differences with other members of the amalgam on the course of action adopted by them post-abrogation of Article 370 last year.