Sopore: The eyes of Abdul Khaliq Lillo, 80, closed for ever on Thursday without being able to have a last glimpse of his son Ghulam Geelani Lillo, who is in Tihar Jail in Delhi for the past seven years.
Ghulam Geelani Lillo was arrested on January 19, 2010, from Narbal area of Srinagar in a Hawala money-laundering case. The case is still under trial and the charges have not been proven so far.
A native of Khushal Mattoo, Sangrampora, in old Sopore town, Abdul Lillo passed away on Thursday evening after a prolonged illness. He suffered kidney failure and was taken to a Srinagar hospital but the doctors turned him away, saying he was in the final stage of life. On the way back home, he died. His last words were whether his son had been able to reach home to see him, Ghulam Mohiuddin, elder son of Abdul Lillo, told Kashmir Reader.
Tabassum, wife of Ghulam Geelani, said, “They arrested my husband from Narbal, Srinagar, but the Indian media reported that he was arrested in New Delhi with three other persons, which is a big lie. All charges against him are fabricated. That is why they have not been able to prove them.”
“We met him after two years of his arrest in Tihar Jail. We have met him only two to three times in the past seven years. We cannot afford to travel to Delhi because of financial constraints. He was the sole bread earner for us,” Tabassum said.
Ghulam Mohiuddin said that his brother’s arrest became the cause of his father’s illness.
“His health went from bad to worse while he waited for his son. We were not able to take him to Delhi in his state of health. We requested the jail authorities to bring Ghulam Geelani once to Kashmir so that he can meet his dying father, but they asked for ten lakh rupees and property papers as mortgage,” Ghulam Mohiuddin said.
“We have sent the message of his father’s death through the advocate, but we are not sure whether he (Ghulam Geelani) has received it or not,” Ghulam Mohiuddin said.
Ghulam Geelani’s son was six months old and his daughter seven years of age when he was arrested. The children have not seen their father even once in the past seven years.
The three other Kashmiris who have been accused in the same case are Mohd Sadiq Ganie and Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, both residents of Sopore, and Farooq Ahmad Daga, who is a native of Kupwara. All four of them are in Tihar Jail for the past seven years.