Top separatist, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Wednesday cleaned the pulpit of Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid that was desecrated last Friday by ISIS supporters with their shoes who waved flags of the terror outfit and raised independence slogans.

The Mirwaiz held a meeting of his supporters in the afternoon and then led a rally from Mirwaiz Manzil to the Jamia Masjid in the downtown Srinagar.

Activists of the Awami Action Committee, ulemas, traders, members of the civil society, and others strongly protested against the desecration of the pulpit of the mosque from where the Mirwaiz delivers sermons after the Friday prayers.

The mosque, especially the pulpit, was cleaned as the hooligans had violated it with their shoes.

The Hurriyat Conference has decided to observe the upcoming Friday as “Youm-e-Taqaddus” at the mosque.

Addressing the gathering, the Mirwaiz said the names of masked youth who desecrated the Jamia Masjid will be revealed soon. He said the process has been set in motion to unveil the faces of masked youth who desecrated the mosque’s pulpit.

Amid pro-Islam slogans, the Mirwaiz, who also heads a faction of the Hurriyat Conference, took out a cloth and started the cleansing of Jamia Masjid pulpit while the others joined him.

The Mirwaiz said their investigation has begun and faces and names behind the desecration of Jamia Masjid will be made public soon. He said some disgruntled elements at the behest of some anti-Islamic agencies by raising black flags on the very sacred pulpit of this grand mosque have hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims living here.

He urged the youth to remain vigilant and defeat the nefarious designs of enemies. “The incident has led to shock, outrage, and deep resentment among people and has deeply hurt their sentiments,” the Mirwaiz said.

A group of masked youth had entered the mosque last Friday after the weekly congregational prayers and rushed to the pulpit with one of them standing atop the pulpit, shouting slogans and raising IS flags.

The Mirwaiz had expressed anguish over the violation of the sanctity of the pulpit by a group of miscreants. “Such hooliganism that harms the mosque or misuses the name of Islam to spread anarchy and fear among people will not be tolerated at all,” he said.

Jamia Masjid is the fountainhead of both the religious identity and the political aspirations of the people of J&K, engaged in the struggle for “Right to Self-determination”, inspired by Islamic values of seeking justice and resistance to oppression, he said.