J&K High Court issues notice to administration over house arrest of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest on August 4, 2019 when Article 370 was removed and the State bifurcated and downgraded to Union territory

Published - September 16, 2023 12:30 am IST - SRINAGAR

Policemen stop Hurriyat chairman and Valleys chief preacher Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from leading the Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.

Policemen stop Hurriyat chairman and Valleys chief preacher Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from leading the Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Jammu & Kashmir High Court on Friday sought reply from the Lieutenant Governor’s (L-G) administration over the house detention of Hurriyat chairman and the valley’s Mirwaiz (chief preacher) Umar Farooq. 

“The Court has asked the administration to file a reply within four weeks,” Advocate Nazir Ronga, who is Mr. Farooq’s legal representative, said.

Mr. Farooq had served a legal notice to the LG’s administration two weeks ago over his house detention and denial to visit historic Jamia Masjid since 2019, where he leads the prayers and delivers Friday sermons as part of Mr. Farooq’s family tradition.

Also Read | Mirwaiz sends legal notice to J&K govt. over his ‘house detention’

Mr. Farooq knocked the door of the High Court after J&K LG Manoj Sinha, in an interview, suggested that the Hurriyat chairman was not placed under any house arrest and was free to go wherever he wanted but under a security cover.

“The Mirwaiz has been detained, as a large contingent of police forces and vehicles have been deployed outside, on both sides of the residence which has made the life of the Mirwaiz more miserable. Due to misinformation propagated, the Mirwaiz feels he has no other remedy than to approach this court for seeking appropriate legal and constitutional remedy for the redressal of his grievances,” Mr. Farooq’s petition reads.

Mr. Farooq’s lawyer submitted to the court that he remains under house arrest for more than four long years.

“He [The Mirwaiz] has suffered an illegal confinement in a most unjustified and illegal manner which amounts to misuse of power and authority. It has not only affected his health but has also caused mental agony to him,” the petition stated.

The petition also said the house detention has also “adversely affected the entire family” and “needs immediate intervention of this court”. “The Mirwaiz has also been directly affected by such unlawful incarceration in terms of his livelihood,” it added.

Mr. Farooq was arrested in August 2019 and was later shifted to his residence in Srinagar’s Nigeen area. Mr. Farooq is also chairman of the Hurriyat, which has been pushing for a trilateral dialogue between India, Pakistan and people of J&K over the Kashmir issue.

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