Protests erupted against Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan over the appointment of Masarat Alam Bhat as chairman of the Hurriyat Conference following the death of Syed Ali Shah Geelani last week in Jammu and Kashmir.
Bhat, the poster boy of the 2010 agitation in Kashmir, is in prison for allegedly being involved in the funding of terror organisations.
Protestors also raised slogans against former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah.
Abdullah statement on Wednesday sparked a row after he said that he hoped the Taliban would “deliver good governance” in accordance with “Islamic principles” and urged the new leaders to respect human rights.
Besides Bhat, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar have been elected as vice-chairmen of the Hurriyat Conference.
Bhat, who had been charge-sheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in October 2019, is currently lodged in the Tihar Jail.
After his arrest, the NIA said that Bhat revealed in the investigation that Pakistan-based agents routed funds through Hawala operators and these were transferred to separatists, including Syed Ali Geelani.
His release in 2015 led to friction between the PDP and BJP alliance government immediately after it was formed forcing the former to put him behind bars within a day after he was set free.
A hardcore separatist ideologue, Bhat has called for the merger of Kashmir with Pakistan and he also believes that this political objective can only be achieved through an armed struggle.
“Bhat said that there were rifts in the Hurriyat over the funds”, PTI quoted the agency as saying.
Geelani, a supporter of Pakistan who had spearheaded the separatist movement in J&K for over three decades passed away on September 1.
The ‘Hurriyat hawk’ had stepped down and dissociated himself from the group after differences cropped up over appointments in the Hurriyat with Pakistan chapter in June 2020.