Hurriyat chairman and Kashmir Valley’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said he was still under house arrest and was disallowed to lead the Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, despite the J&K authorities saying they had released him from detention after 19 months.
A Hurriyat statement said the administration went back on its decision and put curbs on his movement once again. “Last night police officials visited the Mirwaiz’s residence to convey to him that he continues to be under house arrest, and will not be allowed to go to Jamia mosque for Friday prayers and Majlis waz-o-tableeg today,” it said.
A spokesman for the outfit also said that since early Friday morning, additional forces have been deployed outside his house and in the area, “converting it into a garrison.”
The statement added that the home ministry had categorically stated in Parliament that no one in Jammu and Kashmir was under house arrest. “If that is so why does the Mirwaiz continue to be detained?”
The Hurriyat appealed to its supporters to maintain calm and not lose patience on the “imperious decision” of the authorities. ”His detention has hurt the sentiments of people and further aggrieved them.” His supporters were eagerly awaiting the Mirwaiz’s release from house arrest.
The Mirwaiz was arrested and later detained in his house on August 4, 2019, when the Centre ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional position. He remained in detention for 19 months.
Earlier, the Hurriyat had announced that the Mirwaiz would meet religious leaders on Friday and also deliver a sermon at the Jamia Masjid once the government sets him free. The Mirwaiz and Kashmiri regional parties had recently also hailed the peace initiative of New Delhi and Islamabad and hoped that there should be resumption of the dialogue process on Kashmir issue.