Jammu & Kashmir

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq barred from offering Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. [FPK Photo/ Amir Bin Rafi]

Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said he was not allowed to offer congregational prayers at the Srinagar Jamia Masjid.

The Friday prayers were allowed at the historic grand mosque in the Nowhatta area of the city, but Mirwaiz, who is the chief priest of Kashmir and delivers the Friday sermon at the mosque, was not allowed to move out of his residence in Nigeen, located in the outskirts of the city, as reported by PTI.

Mirwaiz denounced his repeated “house detention,” especially on Fridays, to prevent him from delivering the Friday sermon and offering obligatory Friday prayers.

In a statement, Mirwaiz said that after his release on September 22, — after four years of house detention since August 2019 — he has been allowed to go to Jamia Masjid only on three Fridays.

“Since then, every Friday, I have been put under house arrest without being provided any reason for it by the authorities.

“One doesn’t know till when the ban on me continues. At their will and whim, the authorities close down or open the central Jamia Masjid to Muslims for prayers, and no one can ask why,” he said.

Congregational prayers were allowed at the Jamia Masjid on Friday last week after 10 consecutive weeks.

Mirwaiz said that this “arbitrariness, disregard” for religious rights and sentiments of Muslims, and “strong-arm tactics” of the authorities, even on the basic human right to practice religion unfettered “is a telling sign of the time and situation we are living in.”

“It is also a mockery of the authorities’ statements that ‘things are great in JK and I am a free man’ who can go anywhere. Those in charge of decision-making should revisit this policy and think long-term in the light of historical precedents,” Mirwaiz said.

Click to comment
To Top