Geelani steps down as Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman

Geelani steps down as Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman

Geelani steps down as Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman

Syed Ali Shah Geelani today stepped down as the Chairman of the Tehrik-e-Hurriyat.

Sehrai's appointment as the interim chairman signals a change of guard in the separatist group at a time when some of the important TeH members are in the custody of the NIA, on charges of having received secret funding for fomenting unrest in Kashmir.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani's long-time lieutenant Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai on Monday replaced him as chairperson of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, a constituent of the Hurriyat Conference, the Kashmir News Service reported.

He added that merely holding a position without practical contribution is injustice not only with the post, but the conscience as well. "I extend my fullest cooperation and honest wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization", Geelani, as per the TeH statement said.

The elections to the post would be held towards the end of the year and until then, the post will be held by Sehrai.

Geelani's relationship with his parent party Jamat-e-Islami had hit a low after Hurriyat Conference split in 2002. Sehraie parted ways with the Jamat more than a decade ago.

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Till now Sehrai, who is Geelani's close aide and friend, was the general secretary of the party.

The TeH spokesman said after Geelani's resignation, it was unanimously decided by the participants to appoint Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai as interim chairman till fresh elections are held later this year. "The decision was taken after Geelani chose to step down", they said. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat is our party and Hurriyat has 23 allies.

As per reports, Sehraie, a few months ago, had written to Geelani expressing his displeasure about some developments within the faction. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat knows what to do after my death. The 89-year-old leader has been continuously put under house arrest for the past 8 years. They are now detained in Tihar Jail in New Delhi.

SAS Geelani is are one of key figures among pro-freedom leadership in the Kashmir valley, and has been vocal on advocating Kashmiri self-determination.

He is credited to have worked as a "foot soldier" in JeI in the trying times. Geelani is not keeping well for the past several years.

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