Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was recently released from house arrest after four years, was not allowed to leave his residence on Friday. Meanwhile, the authorities did not allow prayers at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid on Friday in view of apprehensions of protests over the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The Israel-Palestine conflict had featured in Mirwaiz’s Friday sermons in the past and sources in the administration said authorities had apprehensions of protest on the issue after Friday prayers and a decision was taken to close down the grand mosque at Nowhatta. However, no official comment has been made with regard to the closing of the mosque.
Anjuman Auqaf, the governing body of the mosque, in a statement, expressed “deep regret” over the administration’s action. Condemning the decision to keep Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest once again, the Aqua said that the authorities closed all the doors of the central mosque in the morning and informed the Auqaf administration that prayers would not be allowed on Friday.
Mirwaiz Farooq was released from house arrest after four years on September 22. On the same day, he led prayers at Jamia Masjid.
On Wednesday, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, headed by Mirwaiz, had issued a statement expressing “anguish and grief” over the loss of lives in the latest escalation in the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Mirwaiz had stated that Palestinians have been “gravely wronged” and are suffering. “Youth, women and even children are being killed, their homes are bombed and destroyed, they are subjected to humiliation and surveillance all the time, their livelihood is fast dwindling,” he said.
He added that “the roots of this conflict are in its colonial past – in the decisions taken by the colonial masters while they ruled, the tragic impact of which is being suffered by the locals till date.”
Meanwhile, anti-Israel protests broke out in Badgam district adjoining Srinagar, after Friday prayers. Police forces have been deployed around major mosques in Srinagar. Kargil district in the UT of Ladakh also witnessed anti-Israel protests after the Friday prayers.