May 2003 News

Differences with leaders led to my removal: Geelani

25 May 2003
The News International

HELD SRINAGAR: Syed Ali Geelani said on Sunday he was removed by his party, Jamaat-e- Islami, as its representative on the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) because of differences with its leaders.The party on Saturday replaced Syed Ali Geelani with moderate leader Sheikh Ali Muhammad as its member on the executive council of APHC. The party said Geelani was removed because of ill-health. He underwent surgery two months ago, after doctors detected a cyst in one of his kidneys while he was in a jail in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. Geelani denied he was replaced because he had not been attending Hurriyat meetings due to illness. He said he had not been at the meetings because the organisation had not taken action against another of its members, the Peoples Conference (PC) party, for participating in last year's state elections.The Hurriyat boycotted the polls, saying they were not a solution to the dispute in Kashmir. One of the former PC members was elected to the state legislature, while two others lost narrowly. The PC said it expelled the members who defied the election boycott.'Everybody knows the reality. They supported them otherwise the candidates couldn't have won,' Geelani told reporters on Sunday. 'My conscience didn't allow me to be party to betrayal,' said Geelani, explaining why he had not attended the Hurriyat meetings. 'I had asked Jamaat also to stop sending anyone else to Hurriyat meetings,' he added.


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