Mirwaiz forbids leading Friday prayers: Hurriyat

It comes days after the administration of Jammu and Kashmir said Kashmiri religious leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq “was free to go anywhere.”

Hurriyat President and Kashmir Valley Clergyman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who has not been released from house arrest to lead Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid, said “such arbitrary arrests will not change the realities of Kashmir ”.

Talk to The Hindu, the Mirwaiz said it was disappointed by the J&K administration’s overthrow of its earlier decision to allow him to fulfill his religious obligations as chief priest.

“Senior police officials visited me and told me that I was not free to visit the mosque. My residence was sealed off and visitors were arrested on Friday morning. Such arbitrary arrests will not change the realities on the ground in Kashmir, ”Mirwaiz said.

He said the Hurriyat had “a very reasoned position on the Kashmir issue”. “We will always speak for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue by engaging all stakeholders including India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said.

He described the recent military-level talks between India and Pakistan on a ceasefire at J&K as “an indicator of the new realities emerging in New Delhi”.

“It shows that even the current regime in New Delhi has started to believe in dialogue as a key institution for moving forward on thorny issues like the Kashmir issue. We have already welcomed this decision and hope that it will progress considerably to see progress on the Kashmir issue, ”Mirwaiz said.

The Mirwaiz have been under house arrest since August 4, 2019, a day before the Center ended J & K’s special constitutional position.

Recently, the J&K administration declared that the Mirwaiz was no longer under house arrest and was “free to go where he wanted”.

The Mirwaiz, according to the Hurriyat, had not led Friday prayers for the past 19 months.

Clashes after Friday prayers

Meanwhile, Mirwaiz supporters, who had decorated the premises of the Jamia Masjid, clashed with security forces after Friday prayers.

Dozens of female Mirwaiz supporters also gathered on the premises of the mosque.

Many supporters raised pro-Mirwaiz and pro-freedom slogans inside the Nowhatta Mosque in Srinagar. However, the protesters dispersed after security forces kicked in.

The Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), a body of religious scholars, also expressed “strong resentment” over the continued house arrest of the Mirwaiz.

“Undue restrictions on the peaceful activities of the highest religious leader in the valley and preventing him from performing his duties as Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir were unacceptable,” a spokesperson for MMU said, while qualifying the government’s decision to be “autocratic”.

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