Mirwaiz Umar released from ‘house detention’ after over four years

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After more than four years, Kashmiri senior separatist leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been released from ‘house detention’ and will lead the Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.

It is learnt that authorities has released Mirwaiz Farooq from ‘house detention’ and allowed him to lead Friday prayers.

Close aides of Mirwaiz said the policemen deployed around his house at Nigeen Srinagar were removed this morning and he was informed about his release.

This comes days after he moved J&K High Court seeking release from detention.

“After Four years (212 Fridays) of illegal & arbitrary incarceration, @MirwaizKashmir will today offer congregational Friday prayers & deliver sermon at Jama Masjid Srinagar,” Mirwaiz Manzil said in a post on X. It also showed a youngers waiting for Mirwaiz.

Top police officials visited the grand mosque in old Srinagar to review the arrangements.

The separatist leader Mirwaiz, who is also the chief priest, has been under “house detention” since August 4, 2019 — a day before the union government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the state into two union territories.

Several mainstream parties have welcomed the release of Mirwaiz.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah welcomed the step taken by the administration in J&K to release Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from house arrest.

“I hope that they allow him to move freely, interact with people & resume his social/religious responsibilities. Today eyes in Kashmir will be on the Mirwaiz as he delivers his first Friday sermon in Jamia Masjid after 2019,” Omar said.

“Finally Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will walk a free man after years of LGs admin’s denial about his detention. As a religious head he is held in high regard by muslims across J&K. Unfortunate that a tussle has already begun between BJPs various political outfits to claim credit for his release,” PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti posted on X.

“Welcome step! After 4 years of house arrest, it’s heartening to hear that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will be allowed to offer Friday prayers at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid. Religious freedom is a fundamental right, and clerics have an important role to play. This is a positive move towards reconciliation and unity!” Chairman Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

“Welcome the release of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq sahib. It is a joyous day for all of us to hopefully see him leading the prayers. He symbolises a tradition which is primarily religious in nature but also strong societal connotations. This tradition has been routinely interrupted in the last three decades, by all governments. Hope this tradition proposers uninterrupted,” Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone said.

“I want to place on record thanks to the Hon’ble Union Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah ji @AmitShah and LG Manoj Sinha ji @manojsinha_for the decision to allow Mirwaiz Umer Farooq to lead Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid. Hope Mirwaiz Sahab will play his role to shape the society in a positive way for a better and peaceful tomorrow,” Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari said.

Congratulations to respected Brother #MirwaizUmarFarooq Sahib. It is soothing to see you after a highly appreciable decision by the Administration. Religious scholars belong to all & no group or political party has a copyright for any religious personality. I hope, this time politico-theatrical statements will not shadow the happiness of the release of Mirwaiz. Wishing him great for future,” BJP leader and Chairperson J&K Waqf Board Darakhshan Andrabi said.

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