Srinagar, Jan 30 (PTI) Separatist leader Bilal Lone, brother of former minister Sajad Lone, Wednesday renamed his faction of People’s Conference as the ‘Jammu and Kashmir People’s Independent Movement’.Also Read - Pulwama Terror Attack: Jammu And Kashmir Administration Withdraws Security of 5 Separatist Leaders

Bilal announced the change in the name of his party at a press conference at the Hurriyat headquarters here. He said it was done to avoid confusion among the people. Also Read - Terror funding case: NIA raids office of arrested Zahoor Watali

“I took my party workers into confidence and we decided to change the name of the party. The body (of office-bearers) will remain same as earlier,” he said. Also Read - Terror funding case: NIA arrests financier Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali

The People’s Conference was formed by Abdul Gani Lone, slain father of Bilal and Sajad, before the eruption of militancy in the state.

The party became an important constituent of the Hurriyat Conference when the amalgam was formed in 1993. It continued to be in the separatist amalgamation even after Abdul Gani Lone was shot dead by militants in 2002 after a function held in memory of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, who also fell to the bullets of ultras in 1990.

However, the People’s Conference split into two with Sajad and Bilal heading rival factions. While Bilal continued to be in Hurriyat, Sajad joined mainstream politics in 2009.

He contested Lok Sabha elections that year but lost.

However, Sajad’s faction won two seats in the assembly elections in 2014, and Sajad became a minister in the previous PDP-BJP government.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.