Mirwaiz freed from house arrest, delivers Friday sermon at Grand Mosque

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a prominent separatist leader in Kashmir, has been released from house detention after more than four years. This move allowed him to lead the Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.

Authorities removed the police personnel who were stationed around Mirwaiz Farooq’s residence at Nigeen in Srinagar earlier today and informed him of his release. This development came shortly after he filed a petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking his release from detention.

Mirwaiz Manzil, announced the news on social media, stating, “After Four years (212 Fridays) of illegal & arbitrary incarceration, @MirwaizKashmir will today offer congregational Friday prayers & deliver a sermon at Jama Masjid Srinagar.”

The release of Mirwaiz Farooq follows his prolonged house arrest’ which began on August 4, 2019, just a day before the Indian government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and reorganized it into two union territories.

The news of his release has been met with positive reactions from various political figures and parties in the region. National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed hope that Mirwaiz Farooq would be allowed to move freely, interact with people, and resume his social and religious responsibilities. He emphasized the significance of Mirwaiz’s first Friday sermon at Jamia Masjid since 2019.

Other political leaders, including Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party, Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), Sajad Lone of the Peoples Conference, and Altaf Bukhari of the Apni Party, also welcomed Mirwaiz’s release. They recognized his role as a religious figure with societal importance and expressed hope for an uninterrupted continuation of this tradition.