Militant Outfits Support Geelani In Tussle With JeI
26 May 2003
The Times of India
Srinagar: As the rift between Jamaat-e-Islami and its fire-brand leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani widened, two pro-Pakistan militant outfits Hizbul Mujahideen and Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen rallied behind him asking JeI to reconsider its decision of replacing Geelani in the executive committee of the Hurriyat Conference. In a statement circulated through a local news agency in Srinagar, the Hizbul Mujahideen supported Geelani and asked JeI as well as Hurriyat to reconsider the decision of replacing the fire-brand leader. 'Geelani enjoys the support of common people and Mujahideen (militants) and his supporters will not allow any attempt aimed at hurting the freedom struggle,' the statement issued after a meeting chaired by Syed Sallahuddin said while expressing deep concern over his expulsion from Hurriyat. Radical militant outfit, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JuM) flayed Hurriyat and JeI for sidelining Geelani and accused them of weakening the 'cause' in order to receive appreciation from the US and Indian leaders. The rift between Geelani and JeI widened on Sunday after the leader said he was removed from the executive of Hurriyat not because of ill health as claimed by the outfit but for his repeated demands for expulsion of People's Conference from the amalgam for its participation in the assembly polls in the state last year. Jamaat last week replaced Geelani with Sheikh Ali Mohammad at the seven-member powerful executive council, the decision making body of Hurriyat. Both militant outfits appealed to the Hurriyat and JeI to rally behind Geelani. 'The isolation of Geelani will affect the foundations of the separatist conglomerate and will also prove supportive to the plans (of the government) to derail the ongoing struggle,' the Hizb statement said. The statement appealed to Jamaat-e-Islami and Hurriyat Conference to accept the stand of Geelani and save the ongoing struggle from getting dispersed. JuM said Geelani's stand was forthright and correct and as such 'Jamaat-e-Islami has no importance or status against Geelani.' The Jamiat also flayed Hurriyat and JeI for indulging in 'anti-Jihad' activities.