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Hurriyat leader Syed Geelani resigns from Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chief's post

Hurriyat leader Syed Geelani resigns from Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chief's post

Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani on Monday stepped down from the chairmanship of his party, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.

However, the 89-year-old will continue to chair the hard-line faction of the Hurriyat Conference since he has been elected as life-time chairman of the separatist conglomerate. It was formed in August 2004 following a split in the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Geelani, 88, cited his falling health and curbs on him by government as reason for resigning from the post of TeH's chairman.

Sehrai and Geelani, both strong votaries of implementation of the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir, have been close associates for nearly six decades, first in the Jamiat-e-Islami J&K and later in the TeH.

Sehrai has been a close aide of Geelani for over 50 years.

The decision to appoint Sehrai (73) as interim chairman was taken unanimously in an extraordinary meeting of Majlis-e-Shoora (Central Working Committee) held in Srinagar on Monday. He extended his fullest cooperation and honest wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization.

Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Fantoosh was said to be the one in charge of party operations to a good extent.

While addressing advisory body meeting of the party, Geelani said from last 8 years of continuous house arrest and restrictions by authorities on interactions with party colleagues has dented the functioning of the party. The Geelani-led Hurriyat comprises at least 24 smaller parties.

There were many contenders, including his son Naeem Geelani, Democratic Freedom Party head Shabir Shah and Muslim League chairman Masarat Alam, who were tipped to succeed Mr. Geelani as the TeH's chairman.

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