In a significant development, the chairman of the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq addressed Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid Nowhatta Srinagar after a gap of four years. After discussing with the law-enforcing agencies, the administration allowed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to address the religious congregation at Jamia Masjid.
Important to mention here that Mirwaiz was placed under house arrest on August 4, 2019, a day before the Union Government revoked Article 370 and 35A and the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories (UTs).
Before arriving at the Jamia Masjid for Friday prayer, Mirwaiz had a meeting with Dr. Darakhshan Andrabi, a senior BJP leader and chairperson of the Waqf Board. After meeting with Mirwaiz, Dr. Andrabi shared a picture on social media.
"Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has an important role in the society. The administration took the right step. Religious leaders do benefit society by showing the youth the correct path," Dr. Andrabi 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… pic.twitter.com/YKyIraH919— Dr Darakhshan Andrabi (@drdarakhshan) September 22, 2023
"Congratulations to respected Brother Mirwaiz Umar Farooq 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.", she posted.
Two days ago, Dr. Darakhshan Andrabi visited the house of renowned Islamic scholar and preacher Maulana Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri.
Political parties welcome authorities' decision to allow Mirwaiz to address Friday's prayers
All political parties of Kashmir Valley welcomed the decision of the J&K Government to allow Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to address Friday prayer at Jamai Masjid after a gap of four years.
I welcome 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…— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 22, 2023
The former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, ex-chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, and Peoples' Conference chief Sajad Lone hailed the decision of the government.
Finally Mirwaiz Umer 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…— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) September 22, 2023
Appreciating people for cooperating for the peaceful conduct of Friday prayer at Jamia Masjid, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Vijay Kumar Bidhuri said today's development is an indication of improving the situation in Kashmir Valley.
Deeply gratified & delighted by the long-awaited release of Mirwaiz Sahib. This momentous event has indeed ushered in a collective sigh of relief among the masses, particularly his devoted followers.— Altaf Bukhari (@SMAltafBukhari) September 22, 2023
Thanks to @AmitShah @manojsinha_ pic.twitter.com/oxH55ddK8f
Earlier in August the Jammu and Kashmir government allowed the Muharram procession in Srinagar after a gap of over 30 years.
Before the eruption of terrorism in Kashmir Valley, the traditional Muharram procession used to pass through many areas of the city, including from Lal Chowk to Dalgate area, but the same has been banned since 1990.