In his first public address after 46-day confinement, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday described hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as "political execution" and the campaign for return of Guru's mortals will continue.
"In the darkness, the Indian government showed its worst imperialistic tendency by hanging Guru and, with him, hurting sentiments of people of Kashmir. Such inhumane and unjust measures in the past have not silenced Kashmir's genuine political movement not will it in the future," said the Mirwaiz in his first ever sermon at Srinagar's Jamia Masjid since Guru's hanging on February 9.
Two days ago, the authorities lifted restrictions around the Mirwaiz's house in Srinagar. He, and other top ranking separatists, has been constantly placed under house arrest since Guru's hanging.
"When people of Kashmir asked for the remains of Guru, Indian democracy breached all lives of democratic values and placed the entire community under siege by imposing curfew, arrested youth, used force and muzzled political voices," said the Mirwaiz to hundreds of devotees who had assembled to hear the Friday sermon at the mosque.
"The pulpit and this mosque has been in the past and will be in the future too raising the voice for just movement of Kashmir, which is right to self determination," he added.
The moderate separatist leader criticised mainstream political parties and described their concern for Guru as "fake". "These political groups have always weakened the Kashmir movement," he alleged.
The Mirwaiz is first separatist leader who has been released from the confinement. The authorities, highly placed sources said, are mulling to allow movement of JKLF chief Yasin Malik and hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani too, who have also been under house arrest since the hanging.
Another separatist leader Shabir Shah is being shifted to Central jail Srinagar, where from he may be released. Shah is presently undergoing detention at Kot Balwal Jail, Jammu.