‘It is political vendetta’
Hurriyat Conference (M) has denounced continuous house arrest of its Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq terming it as sheer “political vendetta.”
In a statement, Hurriyat (M) spokesperson said, “while government finally allowed Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid after 19 weeks of shamelessly preventing people from their religious obligation, strict restrictions were put in place and most roads leading to the masjid were sealed off by the forces to discourage people from going to the masjid.”
“Despite that a large number of people braving all odds offered prayers at the historic mosque. However, the ruling class did not allow the Mirwaiz and APHC Chairman, Muhammad Umar Farooq to move out of his house where he continues to be under arrest, thus stopping him for the past five months from offering congregational prayers and delivering the Friday sermon at Kashmir’s main masjid,” the spokesperson said.
“In absence of the Mirwaiz, Imam Hai Moulana Ahmad Syed Naqshbandi delivered the Friday sermon and strongly condemned the dictatorial authorities for banning people from offering Friday prayers at the mosque for the past 19 weeks,” he said.
“Denouncing the continuous house arrest of the Mirwaiz as “political vendetta,” Imam Hai said “besides being a prominent political leader, the Mirwaiz is also the revered religious leader of Kashmir and imposing ban on his religious and social activities was unacceptable and deplorable.”
Imam Hai said Jamia Masjid Srinagar, has for centuries been the centre of peaceful religious, missionary, social and political activities and aspirations of the people of Kashmir and “an assault on the masjid by banning prayers is an assault on the Muslim identity of Kashmir.”
“Amid pro freedom slogans that reverberated in the masjid emotional scenes were witnessed when the supreme sacrifices of the 100 Kashmiris brutally martyred in the last five months were recalled and special prayers were conducted for them. People also prayed for the complete recovery of those blinded maimed and injured in the uprising. They also prayed to almighty for the early release of thousands of those arbitrarily arrested during this time. People reiterated their commitment towards the freedom struggle and their full support to the joint resistance leadership,” it said.
The spokesperson said after the Friday prayers, people mostly comprising youth led a protest march from Jamia Masjid Srinagar to Khanyar and raised pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans and slogans against state terrorism, continued arrest and house arrest of resistance leaders including Mirwaiz, and arbitrary arrests of hundreds of youth.
Meanwhile, the spokesman condemned the house arrest of the Mirwaiz, house arrests and arrests of veteran resistance leader Syed Ali Geelani, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Asiya Andrabi and other political leaders including Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, G N Zaki, Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, Engineer Hilal Ahmad War and thousands of youth. The spokesman also denounced the use of force on peaceful protesters at New Pulwama, Sopore and Kupwara by the government forces.