Senior hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday, in a surprise move, quit the All Party Hurriyat Conference, saying he is distancing himself from the platform.

In a press statement the octogenarian separatist leader, Geelani said he is distancing himself completely from the All Party Hurriyat Conference.

“He has written a detailed letter to Hurriyat members in which he said, given the present situation within the Hurriyat Conference, he is completely dissociating himself from the platform”, the statement said.

In his detailed letter to the members of the Hurriyat Conference, Geelani has said that henceforth he shall not be answerable in any manner about the future conduct of the constituent members of the platform.

Hurriyat Conference was formed on March 9, 1993 as a united political platform of the separatist parties in Kashmir.

Ten years after its formation, the Hurriyat Conference split into the moderate group headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and the hardline group headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Not keeping good health, Geelani has mostly remained under house arrest in his Srinagar uptown of Hyderpora area residence for the last four years.

Before that also authorities used to detain him on and off under house arrest to maintain law and order in Kashmir.

This comes as a major development for separatist politics in Jammu and Kashmir after the government ended its special status under the constitution’s Article 370 in August last.

Meanwhile, Geelani also released a two-page letter in which he accused constituents of Hurriyat of inaction after the scrapping of Article 370.

“I sent messages to you through various means so the next course of action could be decided but all my efforts were in vain. Now that the sword of accountability is hanging over your heads for the financial and other irregularities, you thought of calling the advisory committee meeting,” he wrote according to a report in NDTV.

He also accused Hurriyat constituents of hatching “conspiracy and resorting to lies against him” and also teaming up with the Hurriyat chapter in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, which had targeted him.

“Instead of reprimanding them, you called a meeting in Srinagar and ratified their stand. You people have become part of the conspiracy and lies,” he said in the letter.

“The lack of discipline and other shortcomings were ignored and you did not allow a robust accountability system to be established over the years but today, you have crossed all limits and indulged in rebellion against the leadership.”