Will offer Friday prayers at Srinagar’s grand mosque after 3 years: Mirwaiz
The chief priest of the mosque is expected is deliver a sermon there days after lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha claimed the Mirwaiz was not under house arrest
Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday said he will offer congregational Friday prayers at Srinagar’s grand mosque for the first time since his detention ahead of the revocation of Jammu & Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status in August 2019. He is expected is deliver a sermon at the mosque, where he is the chief priest, days after lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha’s claimed the Mirwaiz was not under house arrest.
“I am going to offer Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid tomorrow [Friday]...,” the Mirwaiz said even as people close to him added that the administration has so far conveyed nothing to him except moving a truck blocking his residence a bit far from its gates. Security personnel remained deployed there.
“...it will be an embarrassment for [Sinha] if the Mirwaiz would not be allowed to move out of his home for the prayers,” said a person close to the Mirwaiz.
The Hurriyat Conference last Friday contested Sinha’s statement that the Mirwaiz was not under house arrest, saying he was even stopped from going to the mosque on Fridays to deliver religious sermons.
In an interview with BBC Hindi, Sinha said the Mirwaiz was not under detention even in 2019 and that police were deployed at his residence for his safety.
Some journalists tried to visit the Mirwaiz’s residence after the interview but were not allowed to meet him.
In a statement, the managing body of the mosque said it is hopeful the Mirwaiz will be allowed to offer Friday prayers and give the sermon. It called Sinha’s claim astonishing and said the Mirwaiz has remained detained, causing grief to people.
The body said all preparations have been made for the Mirwaiz’s Friday sermon and people were eagerly awaiting for his release and looking forward to seeing and hearing him.
The Mirwaiz was among hundreds of people detained in August 2019 to prevent protests against the changes to Jammu & Kashmir’s special status.