Jailed Kashmiri Separatist Leader Altaf Ahmed Shah Dies at AIIMS Delhi

Shah's daughter, Ruwa Shah, had long been seeking her father's release on medical grounds, noting his deteriorating health in Tihar jail where he had been lodged since 2018.
The Wire Staff
Oct 11, 2022

New Delhi: Jailed Kashmiri separatist leader Altaf Ahmed Shah died in AIIMS Delhi on Tuesday morning, his daughter, journalist Ruwa Shah, posted on Twitter this morning.

Shah, the son-in-law of the late Syed Ahmed Shah Geelani, who was the founder of the Kashmiri separatist group, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, had been suffering from a slew of health conditions.

In September, The Wire had reported on Shah’s daughter’s tweets highlighting his condition, imploring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah  to allow the separatist leader access to proper medical care outside of Tihar jail, where he was being lodged.

“My father who is critically ill with Pneumonia, uncontrollable diabetes & chronic kidney disease has been requesting the jail authorities to move him to proper hospital instead of jail ICU where he is currently on oxygen support,” Ruwa Shah had written on Twitter on September 21.

Also read: Fervent Appeals and the Question of Rights: A Daughter’s Story

Tagging the prime minister and home minister in the Tweet, she had written, “The law can take its own course as goes his trial but medical care should not be delayed for him before it’s too late.”

In an October 3 order, the Delhi high court had ordered that the 66-year-old separatist leader be taken to AIIMS Delhi from Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital after he was diagnosed with renal cancer. He has been in custody since 2018 in a terror funding case.

“We were informed about Abu’s passing away late last night,” Ruwa Shah told news agency PTI.

In 2017, Altaf Ahmad was amongst seven separatist leaders arrested by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in a case of alleged terror funding being received from Pakistan. He had been lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail ever since.

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