Hardline Hurriyat Conference elects incarcerated leader Masrat Alam as Chairman; Who is Masrat Alam?
Masrat Alam, the 49-year old Hurriyat leader, and Muslim League Chairman is in Tihar Jail since 2019. He was sentenced in a case filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the alleged terror funding.
An incarcerated leader Masrat Alam has been elected as Chairman of the Hardline Hurriyat Conference. The decision came after the death of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on September 2, 2021.
The hardline faction, in a statement, said that the people of Jammu & Kashmir look up to the amalgam’s leadership with great expectations. Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar and Shabir Ahmad Shah have been elected as vice-chairmen.
The amalgam also informed that the appointments have been made on a temporary basis till the elections are held as per the Hurriyat Constitution.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who passed away last week in Srinagar, was elected as the lifetime chairman of Hurriyat Conference, however, he stepped down and had disassociated himself with it in 2020.
The separatist leader was avowedly a supporter of Pakistan and had also spearheaded the separatist movement in Jammu & Kashmir for over three decades.
All-Parties Hurriyat Conference headless since 2020:
The All-Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has been without any head since June 29, 2020, after late Syed Ali Shah Geelani announced his separation from the amalgam 17 years after he launched the organization.
Geelani had accused the Hurriyat members of inaction after the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
Who is Masrat Alam?
• Masrat Alam, the 49-year old Hurriyat leader, and Muslim League Chairman is currently in Tihar Jail since 2019. He was sentenced in a case filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the alleged terror funding. Vice-Chairman Shabir Shah is also in jail.
• Masrat Alam, since his arrest in October 2010, has been in jail for most of the time because of his alleged role in the mass public agitation in 2010.
• He has continued to be in prison as the authorities booked him in one case after the other, even though the court had quashed his detention multiple times.
• Alam has 27 FIRs filed against him and he has also been booked at least 36 times under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
• He was released in 2015, after more than 4 years. However, it triggered a backlash against the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which was then in coalition with Bharatiya Janata Party.
• Alam was arrested again by the then-state government in J&K on April 17, 2015, on charges of sedition and waging war against the state after he raised pro-Pakistan slogans in the rally. It was organized by Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Srinagar. Geelani, when alive, had accused the state government of vengeance of the prolonged and unlawful detention of Alam.
• In 2010, Masrat Alam was instrumental in framing the marathon strike calendars when over 120 youth were killed in security forces action for controlling the anti-India slogans and protests on the streets of Kashmir.
What is Hurriyat Conference?
All-Parties Hurriyat Conference is an alliance of 26 social, political and religious organizations. It was formed on March 9, 1993, as a part of a united political front in order to raise the cause of Kashmir separatism in the Kashmir Conflict.
Pakistan has historically viewed the alliance positively as it basically contests the Indian Government’s claim over Jammu & Kashmir.
As per the Hurriyat Conference, J&K is a disputed territory and India’s claim over it is not justified. The alliance openly supports the Pakistani claim that Jammu & Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of partition and that it needs to be solved as per the aspirations of the people of the valley.