Geelani resigns from Hurriyat Conference in annoyance

Srinagar: The most prominent face of Kashmir’s separatist movement, Syed Ali Geelani, on Monday resigned from the All Parties Hurriyat Conference nearly two decades after he formed it.
The 90-year-old ailing leader, in an audio message, said that he has decided to call it a day as chairman of the Hurriyat Conference in view of the “present situation”.
“In view of the present situation, I resign from All Parties Hurriyat Conference. I have informed all the constituents of the Hurriyat about the decision, “ Geelani said in his frail voice.
The senior leader has also informed about his decision to party cadres through separate letters, which mention dissatisfaction with Hurriyat leaders, meetings held without him, and decisions taken without his concurrence as the reasons for his resignation.
Geelani has quit at a delicate situation in Kashmir politics, when Article 370 has been abrogated to bring J&K under central rule and domicile certificates are being granted under new definitions.
“The government has kept under jail thousands of people including Hurriyat leaders. However, whosoever was free did not do anything to lead people. Now when life was resuming amid repression, some of these leaders unconstitutionally held a meeting in absence of me,” Geelani has written in his two-page letter.
“So I have chosen to call it a day. I will continue to raise the voice of people till I am alive. There is going to be no change in it,” he added.
Geelani throughout the twenty-year history of the organisation has remained its uncontested head. Starting his career as an associate of Jama’at Islami, Geelani rose through the ranks to become the Jama’at’s president. He also contested the 1987 assembly elections on the JI ticket.
In early 2000 when Geelani parted ways with Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, he formed his own party, the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, which he was heading until two years ago. Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, his decades-old friend, replaced him.
The Hurriyat which Geelani left today represented the majority of Kashmir’s separatist political parties. All of Geelani’s close aides are currently under incarceration in jails within and outside Kashmir.
No Hurriyat leader had spoken a word about Geelani’s resignation till the time this story was filed. Only the BJP’s Kashmir handler shared Geelani’s resignation letter in a tweet.
Geelani will remain a member of his own party, the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, which is led by Sehrai.

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