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HomeIndiaHurriyat chief Mirwaiz moves J&K HC seeking release from house detention

Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz moves J&K HC seeking release from house detention

After over four years under house detention, Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has moved the Jammu & Kashmir High Court seeking release from continued detention.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Mirwaiz said, “We had sent legal notices to several officials in the government. They have failed to respond to that within the stipulated time. Therefore, our only recourse was to go to court.”

He added that the court has asked the government to file a reply with regard to his detention within four weeks.

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On Friday, the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, the management body of Srinagar’s Grand Mosque, said that despite repeated appeals and requests to the authorities, Mirwaiz is not being released from house arrest, which he was placed under on August 4, 2019 when Article 370 was removed and the state bifurcated and downgraded to Union territory.

“Although state authorities claim that he is not detained, he is neither allowed to move out of his house nor go to Jamia Masjid on Fridays for sermon and namaz. There are restrictions on people to meet him as police and paramilitary personnel and vehicles are permanently stationed outside his entrance gates on both sides of his house who don’t allow him to move out,” the Anjuman said.

The move comes after J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s assertions that Mirwaiz was not under any means of restriction and was free to step out. After this, in August 2022, Mirwaiz also attempted to leave his house for Friday prayers but was stopped at the gate of his Nigeen residence by the local police.

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Mirwaiz said that the petition has sought “orders or direction for my release from illegal and unauthorised detention”.

The petition also states that he should be allowed to deliver his Friday sermons and lead the Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid, along with removal of any impediments to his day-to-day life as a citizen.

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Several political parties from Kashmir, including NC, PDP and the People’s Conference, have called for his release over the last four years.

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