SAS Geelani steps down as Tehree-e-Hurriyat chief


Due to huge support from the separatist constituency in Kashmir, the Jamaat was forced to make peace with Geelani and became a member of the TeH and Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference. The sources told Mirror that the meeting was held at the organisation's office and Sehrai was elected as interim chairperson till elections are held. Both parted ways from their parent organization Jamaat-e-Islami in 2003 under an agreement to float Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, close on the heels of Hurriyat Conference's split in 2003.

His successor Sehrai is a longtime associate of SAS Geelani and hails from north Kashmir's Kupwara district.

Sehrai was elected chairman of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat at a meeting of its Executive Committee after Geelani chose to step down, sources in the separatist party said.

Octogenarian Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, known for his hardline stance on dialogue process and engagement with New Delhi, on Monday appointed his long-term aide Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai to lead his party Tahreek-e-Hurriyat Kashmir (THK), a constituent of a faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani.

"By merely holding a position without practical contribution is injustice not only with the post but the conscience as well".

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Some months ago, Sehrai wrote a five-page letter to Geelani expressing his displeasure about some developments within the faction. They are now detained in Tihar Jail in New Delhi.

"Sehrai played an important role in the formation of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat".

Sehrai was earlier the organisation's general secretary.

Apart from senior Hurriyat leaders Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan, Shahid-ul-Islam, Farooq Dar alias Bitta Karate, Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, Peer Saifullah and Ayaz Akbar, Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah is presently under NIA detention while his sons Naeem Geelani and Naseem Geelani were summoned by the agency many times in the past.