Hurriyat appoints jailed Massarat Alam as new chairman after Geelani’s death

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After Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s death on 1 September in Srinagar, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has named jailed Massarat Alam Bhat as his successor and the new chairman of the APHC.

In a statement, quoted by The Hindu, the party spokesman has said that after the “demise of our lifetime chairman Geelani and our senior leader Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference has suffered an irreparable loss.”

“Considering the challenges and the great role of the Hurriyat leadership, Massarat Alam Bhat has been elected as the next chairman of the Hurriyat,” a spokesman said.

Fifty-year-old Bhat is a resident of Srinagar and shot to prominence during civilian uprisings of 2008 and 2010, when he issued portest calendars. Since 2015 he has been in jail when he was last arrested in Srinagar.

The spokesman also added that the decision was taken after “a consultative exercise was conducted by members of the Hurriyat’s executive council using different mediums to avoid arrests or Indian counter strategy”.

As per the statement, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar were elected as vice chairmen, and Molvi Bashir Ahmed Irfani was elected general secretary of the APHC.

“This interim arrangement will continue till holding of elections as per the Hurriyat’s constitution, as and when the situation improves,” the spokesman said.

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