Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s long-time lieutenant Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai on Monday replaced him as chairperson of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, a constituent of the Hurriyat Conference, the Kashmir News Service reported. Geelani had led the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat since its inception in 2004, senior Hurriyat leader GA Gulzar said.

Sehrai was earlier the organisation’s general secretary.

Unidentified sources told Rising Kashmir that Geelani had decided to appoint Sehrai as the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairperson because of failing health and “other political burdens”.

“However, he continues to be the chairman of the Hurriyat Conference,” Gulzar said according to the Hindustan Times.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference split up in 2002. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq leads the “moderate” faction of the group.