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JeI leader Ghulam Nabi Gundana passes away, curfew in J-K's Kishtwar town

Prominent leader of banned Jamaat-e-Islami Ghulam Nabi Gundana passed away at a hospital in Punjab on Sunday after prolonged illness, following which curfew was imposed in his hometown in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district as a precautionary measure, officials said.

He was 70.

Gundana, who was a retired government teacher, had undergone a surgery and was spared arrest during a major crackdown on the JeI leadership on March 2. He was also affiliated to the Hurriyat Conference.

The senior JeI member was placed under house arrest, while his three of his close associates were arrested during the crackdown.

The Centre has banned the organisation for five years under anti-terror laws on the ground that it was "in close touch" with militant outfits and was expected to "escalate secessionist movement" in the state.

"The curfew was imposed in Kishtwar town as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of 'Nimaz-e-Jinazah' (a prayer before burial) of Gundana on Monday," Deputy Commissioner Angrez Singh Rana told PTI.

He said that students appearing for exams can use their roll number slips as curfew passes for smooth movement.

The JeI leader, who was recently shifted to a hospital in Ludhiana in Punjab for specialised treatment, breathed his last late this evening, the officials said.

Soon after the news of Gundana's death reached Kishtwar, the Jamia Masjid management announced a shutdown on Monday as a mark of respect, they said.

It has asked people to join his funeral prayers at Chowgan, a vast field in the heart of the town, at 11 am, the officials said.

Gundana is survived by wife and five sons.

One of his sons had gone to Pakistan for arms training in the early 1990's while another is jailed for his involvement in militant activities.