June 2003 News

Hurriyat May Split Over Geelani Stand

2 June 2003
The Statesman

New Delhi: The Hurriyat Conference may split unless its leaders are able to persuade hardline Jamait leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to back off from his demand for disciplinary action against the People's Conference for allegedly putting up dummy candidates in the Assembly polls. But that seems unlikely given the fact that Mr Geelani has the backing of all major mujahideen outfits, including the Lashkar-e- Toiba, Al Badr and the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. In fact, a three-member Hurriyat team, comprising Mr Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mr Yasin Malik and Mr Aoulana Abbas Ansari, privately called on Mr Geelani recently to withdraw his demand but he refused. For the Hurriyat, it's a difficult situation since both the People's Conference as well as Mr Geelani's Jamait-e-Islami, are constituents of its executive. To add to its woes, the Majlis-e-Shoora (the Central Advisory Council of the Jamait) recently lobbed the ball back into its court by deciding to retain Mr Geelani as its representative in the outfit. Mr Geelani had stopped attending Hurriyat meetings since 26 April in protest and the JeI Amir, on the Hurriyat's request, had directed Sheikh Ali Mohammed to represent the party on his behalf. The amalgamation's internal politics are equally to blame. Its leaders while trying to pull each other down, are busy pursuing their personal agenda. Mr Geelani wants his man to be the Amir of JeI, polls for which are due in July. Hurriyat chief Prof Abdul Gani Bhatt, though not in favour of the People's Conference is against Geelani's reinduction as his monopoly in the Hurriyat would cease while Mr Yasin Malik, who's eyeing the chief's post, doesn't like either the People's Conference or Prof Bhatt. The Hurriyat leaders are due to meet tomorrow and the day after to take a decision on whether to go without the JeI or oust the People's Conference. Mufti vow on human rights: Mr Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today said the state government was committed to protecting human rights at all costs. He was replying to questions on an alleged custodial death in Kupwara, raised by some members in the state Assembly.


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