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Ailing Syed Ali Geelani quits Hurriyat Conference

Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. File

Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. File   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Syed Ali Geelani's resignation was due to internal feud, say sources

Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani (90) on Monday decided to quit the conglomerate, without divulging his future course of action.

Also read: Syed Ali Geelani ‘last wish’ videos: J&K Police open inquiry

“I have decided to distance myself from the Hurriyat given the current situation [in the amalgamate],” an ailing Mr. Geelani said in a voice note.

He said all the constituents of his faction of the Hurriyat had been informed, in a detailed letter, about the decision.

Placed mostly under house arrest since 2013 in his Srinagar residence, Mr. Geelani, a crowd-puller, was associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami but left it to float his own political organisation, the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He also split from the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq faction of the Hurriyat over the approaches adopted to resolve the Kashmir problem.

Also read: Syed Ali Shah Geelani — the hawk fades into the sunset

Mr. Geelani, known for his hardline ideology, advocated accession of J&K with Pakistan. He, however, did not clarify if he has resigned from the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat or not.

In the past two years, his health had deteriorated significantly, a family member said. “No one outside the family is allowed to see him for many years now,” he added.

Sources said Mr. Geelani’s resignation was due to the internal feud in the Hurriyat. It is likely to pave the way for a new Hurriyat leadership, which faced a massive clampdown in the run-up to the abrogation of J&K’s special status on August 5 last year. He had opposed the move and asked the Centre to work on a political resolution through dialogue with the Hurriyat and Pakistan.

Also read: Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq put under house arrest

BJP leaders’ reaction

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav also tweeted about Mr. Geelani’s resignation.

BJP leader Aijaz Hussian said, “Other Hurriyat leaders should call it a day and realise their mistakes. India is the only way forward for all those who believed otherwise”.

Senior party leader Avinash Rai Khana described the resignation of Mr. Geelani as “a biggest benefit of the removal of Article 370”.

There has been no reaction from other constituents of the Hurriyat to the development.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 12:38:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hurriyat-chairman-syed-ali-shah-geelani-quits/article31943869.ece

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