A photo is being shared on social media claiming it as the photograph of Syed Ali Shah Geelani when he was young. On 01 September 2021, the former member of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani passed away at his residence in Srinagar. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Photograph of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani when he was young.
Fact: The photo shared in the post shows an old photograph of Balochistan National Party founder and the first CM of Balochistan, Sardar Ataullah Mengal. This photo has nothing to do with the late Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
On reverse image search of the photo shared in the post, a similar photo was found published in ‘Flickr’ image sharing website on 14 September 2009. The description of the photo states, “Sardar Ataullah Mengal being taken away from a hearing in Karachi”. The Pakistani politician and the Balochistan first Chief Minister Sardar Ataullah Mengal passed away on 02 September 2021 at a private hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
When we searched for more sources using these keywords, a similar photo was found tweeted by Hussain Haqqani, the former Pakistan Ambassador to the US, on 02 September 2021. Hussain Haqqani through this tweet expressed grief over the death of the Baloch leader Sardar Ataullah Mengal. Reporting the early parliamentary politics in Balochistan, ‘BBC News’ website published an article on 02 September 2021. This article shared a similar photo of Sardar Ataullah Mengal being taken away by police. A similar visual was also found in a video published by the Pakistan-based ‘Geo News’ channel about Sardar Ataullah Mengal.
The ‘India Today Fact Check’ team contacted Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s younger son Naseem Geelani regarding the clarification on this image. Naseem Geelani confirmed to ‘India Today’ that the viral picture is not of his father, Syed Ali Geelani. Also, Naseem Geelani sent an old photograph of Syed Ali Geelani to the ‘India Today Fact Check’ team.
To sum it up, a photograph of the Baloch nationalist leader is shared as that of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani when he was young.