Clamour Grows For Release of Mirwaiz Umar From House Detention
Ishfaq-ul-Hassan | India Tomorrow
SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 3—For the first time since the abrogation of Article 370, clamour is growing for the release of moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from house detention in a bid to allow him to perform religious duties at Jamia Masjid.
Imam Hai of Jamia Masjid Maulana Ahmad Sayed Naqashbandi expressed concern over the continued detention of Mirwaiz (chief cleric) of Kashmir.
“Mirwaiz is the religious head of Muslims of Kashmir. Incapacitating him from performing his religious duties as Mirwaiz and barring him from offering congregational Friday prayers, is a violation of fundamental human rights”, he said.
Kashmir has been simmering after the abrogation of article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two union territories – Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir. Official figures reveal that more than 5161 people including stone pelters, miscreants, over ground workers and politicians were arrested since the withdrawal of special status of J&K.
Mirwaiz was put under house arrest on August 5 when the Centre scrapped special status of Jammu and Kashmir and downgraded the state into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
In fact, entire political leadership of Kashmir was jailed on August 5. Those jailed without any charge include three former chief ministers –Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah. Farooq, who has been detained under the stringent Public Safety Act, is a sitting Member of Parliament from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency. The government maintains that the restrictions on the Kashmiri leaders were needed to prevent them from inciting people, something which could disturb law and order in the region.
“Basic human and religious rights of entire people of Kashmir stand curbed. Authorities should release Mirwaiz forthwith and allow him to lead the congregation in Jamia Masjid. Authorities should also release all prisoners who are languishing in various jails across India”, Imam Hai said.
Jamia Masjid remained locked for 19 weeks in a row. Neither ‘azaan’ was called nor was ‘namaz’ (prayers) offered in the historic mosque for 19 weeks post August 5.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir government has released four more National Conference leaders from detention. Abul Majeed Larmi, Ghulam Nabi Bhat, Mohammad Shafi and Mohammad Yousuf Bhat were released from MLA hostel, which was declared sub jail. With their release, 17 leaders of various political parties including People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone and 2010 IAS topper turned J&K Peoples’ Movement president Shah Faesal are still detained at MLA hostel.