After confining him to his Srinagar home for nearly nine months, the state government has decided to remove all restrictions on the movement of the hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The police cordon around his residence in the upmarket Hyderpora was taken off late on Monday night and Geelani was informed that "he was free to go anywhere".
"Late on Monday night, a police officer informed the family that police will be pulling off the cordon. On asking why it's being done all of a sudden, the officer said he was just following the orders," said Ayaz Akbar, Hurriyat spokesperson.
The chairman of hardline Hurriyat was put under house arrest on February 9 in New Delhi, hours after Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged in Tihar Jail. Geelani was first put under house arrest at his Malviya Nagar residence in New Delhi and was later arrested the moment he landed at the Srinagar airport.
The nine-month house arrest has been the longest such spell of confinement for the hardline leader.
Since March 2013, the senior separatist leader had not been let out of his house by the administration. People coming to meet him were scrutinised. The octogenarian leader, who is suffering from multiple ailments, was, however, taken for medical check-ups under police cover.
Akbar told Hindustan Times that Geelani was in a good health and would resume public activities from Friday. "He is very keen to visit the families of those killed, especially Afzal Guru," Akbar said.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Kashmir police in-charge, inspector general AG Mir said the decision to remove the restrictions was taken in consultation with the district administration. "The restrictions were in place owing to certain circumstances and have been removed in consultation with the district administration," said Mir.