Syed Ali Geelani: Kashmir leader quits Hurriyat Conference

The 91-year-old has accused some Hurriyat Conference leaders of "revolting against his leadership"

Syed Ali Geelani has quit as the political head of prominent separatist groups in Indian-administered Kashmir.

In his resignation letter, the 91-year-old has accused some Hurriyat Conference leaders of "revolting against his leadership".

He rejected speculations that he had resigned because of pressure from the government or his ill health.

Mr Geelani has spearheaded political protests against Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region since 1989.

He added that he would continue to "lead his people" against India.

Mr Geelani said he was unable to reach other leaders of the group to discuss his decision.

"Despite my ill health and continued restrictions, I tried to approach you through various ways but none of you were available. Now that you feel that you will be held accountable for the misappropriation of funds, you openly revolted against the leadership," Mr Geelani said in his letter.

Call for peaceful Kashmir protest

However, he did not elaborate on what he meant by misappropriation of funds. Other top leaders of the Hurriyat have not responded to the letter.

Mr Geelani has been a central figure in political protests against Indian rule in Kashmir for decades.

He was a legislator for over 15 years before resigning in 1989 to join anti-India protests. He played a prominent role in bringing several political and religious groups under the banner of All Parties Hurriyat Conference in 1993.

He was later elected as the group's chairman.

Mr Geelani is known for his strong opposition to holding any kind of dialogue with India. He has always demanded that a plebiscite on whether Kashmir should remain under Indian rule should be held before any talks can take place.

This often brought him in conflict with his younger colleagues, who were more open to holding talks with Indian leaders.