Mirwaiz barred from offering Friday prayers

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Jammu and Kashmir police not allowed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to deliver Friday sermon at the historic Jamia mosque in downtown Srinagar.UNI PHOTO-35U

Just a week after Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was a free man, Kashmir’s chief cleric and Hurriyat chairman was stopped from leaving his residence for the Friday prayers by the police.

Mirwaiz was expected to deliver the first Friday sermon at historic Jamia Masjid in the heart of old city, after the abrogation of J&K’s special status.

“Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been barred from leaving his residence by a posse of Indian Forces. He was on his way to deliver the Friday sermon at the Jamia Masjid today, just a week after Governor Sinha said he was ‘free’,” a tweet by Mirwaiz Manzil said.

Witnesses said Mirwaiz was stopped by police at his Nageen residence in Srinagar and he was not allowed to leave home.

Mirwaiz told the police that J&K highest authority Lt Governor has claimed that he was a free man, so why was he being stopped from offering Friday prayers at the Jamia mosque.

Sinha last Friday said Mirwaiz Farooq was not under house arrest. Sinha’s claim, however, evoked strong reaction from both the mainstream as well as separatist camps.

Mirwaiz Farooq was among the several separatist and mainstream leaders who were detained a day before the Centre ended the J&K special status in 2019.

The Friday prayers were offered at Jamia mosque amid tight security.

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