Kashmir’s chief cleric and chairman of his faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is likely to lead the congregational Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar today
Kashmir’s chief cleric and chairman of his faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is likely to lead the congregational Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar today.
Farooq has been under house detention since August 5, 2019, when the government of India abrogated the special status of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state and bifurcated it into two federally administered Union territories.
In a statement, as quoted by local media, Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid said that senior police officials visited the residence of Mirwaiz yesterday on Thursday to inform him that the authorities have decided to release him from house detention and allow him to go to Jamia Masjid for Friday prayers today.
"We have been communicated by authorities that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will be allowed today to offer Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid, so accordingly we have been told to be prepared," Auqaf said in the statement.
Since August 5, 2019, Mirwaiz has not been allowed to offer congregational Friday prayers or Eid prayers.
The Auqaf had been repeatedly urging the authorities to release Mirwaiz Umar from the house detention and to allow him to carry out his routine religious duties.
The release of the Mirwaiz, who heads various religious organisations and is the chairman of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, comes days after he moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
On September 15, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court sought responses from the government over Mirwaiz's plea regarding his detention since August 2019.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti has also sought the release of other religious scholars who are currently under detention in various jails across J&K.
On Thursday Mufti mocked the Bharatiya Janata Party for first arresting religious scholars and then felicitating them on their release.
“Religious leaders now released & felicitated by BJP after being slapped with PSA were earlier accused of being a security threat by the ruling party. While they engage in dirty political games, wonder what it will take to free other preachers accused of the same crime? Ishfaq Bukhari, Abdul Majid Dar, Manzoor Misbahi & Fayaz Shah continue to languish in jail,” Mehbooba Mufti wrote on X while sharing a picture of senior BJP leader and chairperson Waqf Board Darakhshan Andrabi visiting the house of a prominent religious scholar who was released recently.