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Separatist Leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani Quits Alliance Advocating Kashmiri Independence from India

© AP Photo / Mukhtar KhanIndian Border Security Force soldiers guard outside the residence of former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference party president Farooq Abdullah before Abdullah met his party colleagues in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019.
Indian Border Security Force soldiers guard outside the residence of former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference party president Farooq Abdullah before Abdullah met his party colleagues in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019.  - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): The All Parties Hurriyat Conference, founded in 1993, is an alliance of 26 political, social and religious organizations advocating Kashmiri separatism. Geelani’s resignation came following allegations of failure to respond to the government’s decision to revoke Article 370.

The face of Kashmir’s separatist movement for around three decades, hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday announced his resignation from the political alliance Hurriyat Conference, formed to advocate Kashmiri independence.

Geelani, who has been mostly under house arrest since 2010, said in an audio message: “In view of the current state of the Hurriyat Conference, I am announcing my complete dissociation from the forum. In this context I have already sent a detailed letter to all constituents of the forum.”

​Geelani’s resignation is seen as a major setback to the separatist politics of Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, which stripped the state of its special status.

Geelani, who was chairman of the separatist alliance, had been facing criticism from groups in Pakistan for his failure to respond to the Indian government's move. Many questioned the silence of the separatist hardliner, who was prone to calls for protest shutdowns and election boycotts in the valley.

A three-time parliamentarian from Sopore, Geelani quit electoral politics after militancy erupted in Kashmir.

Activists of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans during a protest in Hyderabad, India (File) - Sputnik International
India Decides to Revoke Article 370 on Kashmir's Special Status in Unprecedented Move

India's revocation of Article 370 was followed by unprecedented lockdown in the state, and the mass arrests of political leaders to curb the protests and demonstrations.

The Valley is currently witnessing a surge in terrorism. The Kashmir militancy dates back to the 1990s, when Kashmiris began demands for independence. India has accused neighbouring Pakistan, which also lays claims to the region, of infiltration and fuelling the separatist movement.

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