The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) said last night police officials visited the residence of Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to convey “that he continues to be under house arrest and will not be allowed to go to Jama Masjid for Friday prayers".
The Hurriyat has asked people not lose hope and show patience and at no cost resort to any form of violent protest.
“Government authorities backtrack on its own decision about the release of @MirwaizKashmir, says no orders received to set him free, will not be allowed to offer Friday Prayers at Jama Masjid,” a tweet of Mirwaiz Manzil (residence) said.
Government authorities backtrack its own decision about the release of @MirwaizKashmir, says no orders received to set him free, will not be allowed to offer Friday Prayers at Jama Masjid— Mirwaiz Manzil (@mirwaizmanzil) March 5, 2021
The APHC statement here said that it expresses regret that after announcing the release of its chairman Mirwaiz e Umar Farooq, the government authorities went back on their decision.
“Late last night police officials visited Mirwaiz's residence to convey to him that he continues to be under house arrest, and will not be allowed to go to Jama Masjid for Friday prayers today. And since early morning additional forces have been deployed outside his house and in the area converting it into a garrison,” the Hurriyat statement said.
“We strongly condemn this authoritarian flip flop of the government,” the APHC said.
“This imperious decision of the authorities has hurt the sentiments of people and further aggrieved them, as they were eagerly awaiting the Mirwaiz’s release from arbitrary house arrest,” the Hurriyat said.
“Recently in the Indian Parliament, the government of India’s minister of state for home affairs had categorically stated that no one in Jammu & Kashmir is under house arrest. If that is so why does the Mirwaiz continue to be detained?” the Hurriyat asked.
On February 3, the ministry of home affairs had said no one is under house arrest in Jammu and Kashmir.
Minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy had said in Parliament that since August 1, 2019, when Article 370 was abrogated and J&K was bifurcated into two Union Territories, 613 persons, “including separatists, overground workers, stone pelters etc.” were detained at various points of time.
“Out of them, based on regular review and ground situation, 430 people have been released till date,” he said. “The government of Jammu and Kashmir has further reported that no person is under house arrest in the Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. On March 11 last year the Union home ministery had said the authorities took 7,357 people in preventive custody since August 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Thursday, there were reports that Mirwaiz would be released and allowed to lead prayers at Jamia Masjid. Following the reports, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had tweeted, “Good to hear about Mirwaiz’s release from arbitrary detention. I hope that hundreds of Kashmiri men languishing in jails in & outside J&K will also be released soon. Its time they returned home to their families.”
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had also welcomed the reports saying, “reports of allowing Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to offer congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid after 18 months also gives an insinuation about the changed attitude we hail on account of it being in sync with our stated policy underscoring goodwill between India and Pakistan as a means to foster peace in J&K.”