Mirwaiz Set Free After 20 Months Of House Detention

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq | File Photo

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir authorities on Thursday lifted restrictions on the movement of Hurriyat Conference-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who was placed under house arrest in August 2019 following the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.

“The police has informed the Mirwaiz that there were no restrictions on his movement anymore and that he was free to visit Jamia Masjid on Friday,” a close aide of the Hurriyat chairman said.

However, the administration neither confirmed nor denied the claim made by Mirwaiz’s aide.

According to the reports, mobile police vehicles continue to remain deployed outside the main entrance of Mirwaiz’s Nigeen residence. The reports also said that Mirwaiz will address Friday congregational gathering at historic Jamia Masjid tomorrow after 82 weeks.

The Mirwaiz, who is also the chief priest of Kashmir, was among hundreds of political leaders — both separatist and mainstream — who were taken into custody or placed under house arrest as the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution 19 months ago.

While most leaders were released by March last year, some including the Mirwaiz continued to be under detention.

Pertinently, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti had welcomed release of Mirwaiz on Wednesday.

“Good to hear about Mirwaiz’s release from arbitrary detention. I hope that hundreds of Kashmiri men languishing in jails in and outside J&K will also be released soon. Its time they returned home to their families,” Mehbooba wrote on her Twitter handle.

Mirwaiz’s Release Significant: Bukhari

Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari welcomed the release of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and demanded that all other remaining political detainees must be released in order to mitigate sufferings of their families.

In a statement, Bukhari the release of Mirwaiz is a significant move that will help in making the situation more conducive. He demanded that those political activists currently detained in and outside Jammu and Kashmir jails be freed especially in view of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“It has been our consistent demand that all the political activists and leaders irrespective of their political ideologies be released to ease up the sufferings of people. Their release has assumed more significance in light of the prevailing Pandemic that has doubled the sufferings of their kith and kin,” Bukhari observed.

Mirwaiz’s Release Will Open Doors For Dialogue: Yaseen

Welcoming the release of Umar  Farooq Chairman People’s Democratic Front (PDF) Hakeem Yaseen sought release  of all other political detainees to pave way for restoration of political process and confidence building measures in Jammu and Kashmir.

He also urged for restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding of Assembly elections at the earliest.

In a statement Yaseen said that the step would help to restore political activities and open up doors for dialogue to settle issues amicably.

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