National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday welcomed the government's decision to allow Muharram procession on the traditional route through Lal Chowk after more than three decades and demanded Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's release from house arrest and permission for prayers at Jamia Masjid.
"We welcome this decision. At the same time, we hope that the government takes other steps as well. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is a religious leader and he should be released. Prayers should be allowed at Jamia Masjid without any curbs and Red prayer should be allowed at Eidgah," Abdullah told PTI.
Abdullah had to walk from his residence on Gupkar road to his office at Nawa-i-Subah due to massive traffic snarls in the city caused by the early morning Muharram procession. "I thought it better to walk to the office as the presence of my security vehicles would have caused more inconvenience to the people," he said.
Asked about elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the former state chief minister said BJP was scared of facing the electorate."Election commission has itself said that there is a vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir which needs to be filled. We told them if you cannot hold Assembly polls separately, then hold the polls together with Lok Sabha elections," he said.