By: Musaib Iqbal MK
Authorities on Friday have not allowed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to offer prayers at Jamia Masjid Srinagar after the gap of 20 months even as earlier he was released from house detention.
Large number of people including youth had come to Jamia Masjid Srinagar to offer prayers and listen to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq after such a huge gap but police did not allow him to proceed to the main Masjid of Srinagar for Friday prayers.
It resulted in slogan shouting within the Masjid and also after the Friday prayers on the streets around the Jamia Masjid and caused clashes with the heavy police presence and the youth.
In these clashes media reports said that many civilians including a woman were injured while police used pellets to disperse the demonstrators. The clash has been witnessed downtown after a huge gap since the abrogation of article 370.
All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in a statement issued to the media has expressed strong resentment and regret that after announcing the release of its chairman Mirwaiz e Kashmir Molvi Umar Farooq from twenty month long house detention since August 2019, Government authorities went back on their decision.
APHC said that late last night police officials visited Mirwaiz’s residence to convey to him that he continues to be under house arrest , and will not be allowed to go to Jama Masjid for Friday prayers and Majlis waz o tableegh today. And since early morning additional forces have been deployed outside his house and in the area converting it into a garrison.
APHC strongly condemns this authoritarian flip flop of the Government.
APHC said that recently in the Indian parliament, the Government of India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs had categorically stated that no one in Jammu & Kashmir is under house arrest. If that is so why does the Mirwaiz continue to be detained?
APHC said that this imperious decision of the authorities has hurt the sentiments of people and further aggrieved them, as they were eagerly awaiting Mirwaiz’s release from arbitrary house arrest.
APHC appeals to people that though hugely disappointing they should not lose hope and show patience and at no cost resort to any form of violent protest.