The post-mortem of former Delhi University professor Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, who died of a cardiac attack on Thursday, will be conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Friday. He was sentenced to death by a special court in the 2001 Parliament attack case only to have his conviction quashed by the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court.
Geelani was admitted at the Fortis Hospital for breathing and other problems. “He passed away on Thursday evening due to cardiac arrest,” a family member confirmed.
Geelani, who used to teach Arabic at Delhi University’s Zakir Hussain College, is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Delhi Police sources told news agency IANS that the decision to conduct the post-mortem at AIIMS was taken in view of the fact that Geelani was their protectee.
And by doing so, the sources said that police wanted to keep everything on record in case any controversial situation emerges in the future.
“Initial investigations have revealed that he died of heart failure,” they added.
In 2001, Geelani was arrested in connection with the Parliament attack case but was acquitted for “need of evidence” by the Delhi high court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005.
The apex court at the same time had observed that the needle of suspicion pointed towards him.
Geelani’s counsel, noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani, had argued that the SC’s “unfortunate observations, even while acquitting him for want of evidence, were seriously affecting both his career and social life” but the court rejected his plea.
In 2005, he was shot at when he had gone to meet his lawyer and was admitted to AIIMS. After this incident, he was provided security by the Delhi Police.
He was also charged with sedition in 2016, after he had organised an event against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, days after a similar event at JNU had sparked controversy over alleged anti-national slogans that led to the arrest of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and two others.
He was living with his family in Delhi’s Zakir Nagar. It was reported that the family intends to take the body to Kashmir after the post-mortem, but Delhi Police is yet to confirm this.
Security has been beefed up at AIIMS and in Zakir Nagar where many people assembled to meet the bereaved family.