People offered Friday prayers in Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid today carrying photos of detained Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and demanded his immediate release.
A group of youth indulged in pelting stones at security forces outside the mosque in the downtown.

Devotees were expecting the Mirwaiz to give sermons in the mosque after the Friday prayers as a word had spread on Thursday that the chief priest was no longer under detection.

The Mirwaiz is among several of leaders — both separatists and mainstream — who were taken into custody or placed under house arrest as the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on 5 August 2019.

While most leaders have been released Mirwaiz continues to be under detention.

The moderate Hurriyat Conference on Friday claimed that the Jammu and Kashmir authorities have gone back on their decision to release the Mirwaiz from detention.

On Thursday, a close aide of Mirwaiz had claimed that curbs on the movement of the Mirwaiz had been lifted. The administration, however, neither confirmed nor denied it.

“Hurriyat Conference expresses strong resentment and regret that after announcing the release of it’s chairman and Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Umar Farooq from a 20-month-long house detention since August 2019, government authorities went back on their decision,” a Hurriyat spokesperson said.