In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and Grand Mufti of the territory, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, have demanded immediate release of senior APHC leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, from house detention.
The APHC in a statement in Srinagar expressed surprise on the assertion of the Lieutenant Governor of IIOJK, Manoj Sinha, who claimed that the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is not been under house detention and insisted that the Indian forces’ vehicles and personnel were stationed outside his house for his safety.
The APHC said that such blatant misrepresentation of facts and denial of the incarceration of the Mirwaiz is unbelievable. “Mirwaiz for the last three years has forcibly not been allowed to come out of his house despite repeated appeals and implorations from all sections of people to the authorities, including religious ulemas across the territory. Newspapers and electronic media reports bear witness to it. Being the Mirwaiz, he is even stopped from going to Jamia Masjid on Fridays to deliver religious sermons from its pulpit which is the centuries old tradition in J&K, or to visit other religious places on important religious occasions. Except close relatives no one is allowed to enter the house. How can these facts be negated and claims of his not being under house arrest made?” it said.
The APHC said if the authorities now want to release the Mirwaiz it is welcome, but giving such misleading statements to save face, is mischievous. The statement said that the APHC’s stand was and is consistent – the Kashmir dispute has to be resolved as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and to the satisfaction of other two parties involved in the conflict namely India and Pakistan, through peaceful means preferably dialogue and deliberations. APHC has in the past and will in the future support every endeavour in this direction, safeguarding the interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir, it added.
The APHC reiterated its appeal for release of all Kashmiri political prisoners, youth and activists detained in different jails of IIOJK and India.
Meanwhile, the Grand Mufti of IIOJK, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, in a statement demanded immediate release of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from the three-year-long continued house detention. He said that apart from his personality as the Mirwaiz of Kashmir, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is a beloved leader of the people and his house arrest brings great pain and agony among the masses and is hurting their emotions and sentiments.
The Grand Mufti questioned that “according to the rulers, if the situation in Kashmir has changed after August 5, 2019, then is it the result of this change that they are keeping the historic Jamia Masjid Srinagar closed under various pretexts and preventing the Kashmiri Muslims from praying and worshipping in this central place of worship?”.
The Grand Mufti maintained that besides the immediate release of the Mirwaiz, the Jamia Masjid Srinagar should also be kept open so that he can fulfill the official duties that the institution of Mirwaiz enjoins upon him.—KMS