Prominent Shia cleric, former separatist leader, and founder-chairman of Anjuman-e-Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen Maulvi Abbas Ansari passed away after a prolonged illness at his Khankah-e-Sokhta residence in Srinagar on Tuesday.

Moulvi Abbas Ansari was not keeping well for a long and over a couple of days, his health deteriorated.

Abbas was the founding convenor of the Muslim United Front ( MUF) which contested the 1987 assembly elections in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Abbas Ansari
Moulvi Abbas Ansarisocial media

Ansari was admitted to SKIMS Soura recently as he was not keeping well. He was also the ex-chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and a separatist leader of Kashmir Valley.

Geelani, Yasin Malik, Farooq
Key Kashmiri seperatist leaders Yasin Malik (L), Syed Ali Shah Geelani (C) and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq hold hands after addressing a press confrence in Srinagar on November 8, 2016.TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images

Resigned from Hurriyat Conference in 2004

Maulvi Abbas Ansari, who was one of the founders of the Hurriyat Conference, resigned as chairman of the conglomeration in the year 2004. After resigning, Ansari claimed that he had stepped down to "forge unity in the Kashmiri political separatist camp" due to infighting among different leaders.

Instead of taking a stand against radical elements, Maulvi Abbas Ansari quit as chairman of the Hurriyat Conference to allow radical leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani to take control of the conglomeration. Geelani and other separatist leaders were opposing Ansari for holding dialogue with the Union Government.

Meanwhile, political parties condoled the demise of Moulvi Abbas Ansari. PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti, Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari, former Congress president G A Mir expressed deep shock and grief over the demise of the politico-religious leader.