The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ansari’s Hurriyat in truce hope

Srinagar, Sept. 16: The Maulvi Abbas Ansari faction of the All Parties’ Hurriyat Conference today said the outfit’s executive had not “split and was intact”.

The faction, however, admitted that the separatist conglomerate’s general council had split vertically. “Yes, there has been a division in the general council. But let me tell you the Hurriyat executive has not split,” former chairman Abdul Gani Bhat said at the conglomerate’s Rajbagh headquarters here.

Yesterday, 15 of the 23 general council members elected hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani their chairman. The Ansari faction then called an emergency meeting for today.

Bhat said there was still “hope they (the Geelani faction) would be brought round”. Senior Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, he said, was in constant touch with the rival faction.

But Geelani today virtually closed his doors on a reconciliation, saying some of his “rivals had deserted the cause and were part of mainstream politics”. “There was no question of a split in the Hurriyat,” he added. “I will not hold any talks with the Abbas (Ansari) group.”

The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front skipped today’s meeting along with the People’s League and the Jamaat-e-Islami in a near repeat of yesterday when the JKLF had skipped the Geelani camp’s meeting. All three outfits are important executive members.

The Mirwaiz, who attended the Ansari faction’s meeting today, however, was not present at the press conference.

The Border Security Force today busted a Jaish-e-Mohammad hideout at Nowhatta in downtown Srinagar. BSF spokesman Tirath Acharya said a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, including two carbines, hand and rocket-propelled grenades, was recovered. These were displayed here this morning.

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