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Kashmiri socio-religious leader and Imam of valley’s grand mosque, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, put under house arrest

On October 13, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was recently released from a four-year house-detention, was placed under detention again. 

India did not allow him to leave his home on Friday to lead the congregational prayers in Kashmir’s grand mosque. Moreover, the Friday congregational prayers were not allowed at all at the mosque. 

A spokesman of the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, the body that takes care of the mosque, stated that police officials had shut down the gates of the mosque and informed that, “Friday prayers will not be allowed today”.

Though there was no official comment provided regarding the closure by authorities, credible reports say that the move to disallow prayers this week was made because India feared that the congregation may organize protests and express concern over the deaths of innocent Palestinians in Gaza. 

Earlier, Mirwaiz had prayed for the safety of Palestinians, especially in Gaza, who are facing constant bombardment at the hands of Israel, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians, including women and children. Mirwaiz had highlighted the plight of Palestinians, condemning killings, demolition of homes, constant surveillance, and the destruction of livelihoods. 

Fearing that Mirwaiz may express similar sentiments on the pulpit during Friday prayers, India detained him and denied Kashmiri Muslims the right to gather for worship.

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