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Kin of top separatists take out ads in J&K, vow loyalty to India | Srinagar News – Times of India


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SRINAGAR: An ideological generation gap in two prominent pro-Pakistan separatist families of J&K exploded in public on Thursday after a granddaughter of the late Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the elder daughter of jailed Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) founder Shabir Shah put out newspaper ads distancing themselves from the “anti-India” narrative.
“I am a loyal citizen of India not affiliated with any organisation or association which has an agenda against the Union of India…I owe allegiance to the Constitution of my country (India),” said Geelani’s granddaughter Ruwa Shah, 40.
Shah’s daughter Sama Shabir, 23, made a similar announcement through an ad in another daily. “I am not associated with the DFP or its ideology in any way,” she said, warning of legal action against anyone linking her to the separatist outfit.
The curious case of both scions making identical declarations of “allegiance” to India on the same day could be more than a coincidence. Ruwa and Sama have both had their Indian passports impounded for undisclosed reasons, sources said.
Sama, studying law at a British university, recently received an ED summons in a money laundering case involving her father. The agency had previously summoned her in 2019, soon after she moved to Manchester for her education.
Her mother Dr Bilquis Shah, a govt employee posted in a state-run Srinagar hospital for over a decade, is a co-accused in the case. ED named her in a supplementary chargesheet filed in 2020 after one of those arrested in the case, Aslam Wani, told investigators that he handed laundered cash to Bilquis and her husband on multiple occasions.
Ruwa’s father Altaf Shah, alias Fantoosh, was a close ideological aide of his father-in-law Geelani until his arrest on charges of terror funding. In 2017, NIA put him in Tihar jail. He died of cancer in October 2021.
Ruwa started her career as a Saudi Airlines crew member before taking a break to study journalism and mass communication in Delhi. In 2020, she went to Istanbul on a scholarship given by the Turkish government and soon started alleged anti-India propaganda from there through her “Ruwa Shah Show” on local television.
Geelani’s granddaughter returned to India after her father died in October 2021, within a month of the Hurriyat Conference founder’s death. Her passport was apparently seized soon after.

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