Mirwaiz Umar Farooq allowed to offer Friday prayers after four years

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Hurriyat chairman and Kashmi’s chief cleric in Srinagar. File photo

Hurriyat chairman and Kashmi’s chief cleric in Srinagar. File photo
| Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Kashmir’s chief cleric and Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is likely to offer Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, four years after he was placed under house arrest.

According to the Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid, the caretaker body of the historic mosque, senior police officials visited the residence of the Mirwaiz on Thursday,September 21, 2023 “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”.

The Lieutenant Governor administration’s move comes days after the J&K High Court sought a reply from the administration over the house detention.

The Mirwaiz had served a legal notice to the L-G administration two weeks ago over his house detention and denial to visit historic Jamia Masjid since 2019. He leads the prayers and delivers Friday sermons as part of the Mirwaiz’s family tradition.

The Mirwaiz knocked the door of the High Court after J&K L-G Manoj Sinha, in an interview, suggested that the Hurriyat chairman was not placed under any house arrest and was free to go wherever he wanted but under a security cover.

The Mirwaiz was arrested in August 2019 when the Centre ended J&K’s special constitutional status. He was later shifted to his residence in Srinagar’s Nigeen area. 

The Mirwaiz is also chairman of the Hurriyat and has been pushing for a trilateral dialogue between India, Pakistan and people of J&K over the Kashmir issue.

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