J&K and Ladakh HC Gives Administration Final Chance to Reply Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s Plea

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has given “last and final opportunity” to the Union territory administration to submit a reply to a petition filed by Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq regarding restrictions on his movement.

The court has set the next date of hearing for March 6, 2024.

Justice Wasim Sadiq Narwal, while accepting the government’s request for one week’s extension to file the reply to Mirwaiz’s petition, emphasized that this would be the “last and final opportunity.”

“Reluctantly and in the interest of justice, one week’s time as prayed for is granted for doing the needful, which however, shall be the last and final opportunity. It is made clear, if reply is not filed, then the matter will be heard on the next date of hearing,” the court ordered.

On February 2, the court had directed the administration to submit a reply by February 19. Meanwhile, Mirwaiz mentioned that the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid had approached the district authorities to inquire about the reasons for the restrictions imposed on him on Fridays and other significant religious days.

“After my release in September 2023 from four years of arbitrary house detention, I was only allowed to attend three consecutive Friday congregations in Jamia masjid. Since then, I have been prevented from going to Jamia masjid on Fridays or addressing the faithful in any other mosque on religious congregations as the Mirwaiz,” Farooq stated.

He expressed frustration with the authorities’ delaying tactics when asked by Anjuman, the managing body of the historic Jamia Masjid, for reasons behind the restrictions.

“They say they will check with their higher ups and get back, which they never do. Recently, despite the important religious occasion of Shab-e-Miraj, I was again not allowed to go to Jamia masjid,” he said.

The Mirwaiz expressed concern over the authorities’ approach as the fasting month of Ramzan was approaching and “there are multiple religious events and congregations planned for me as the Mirwaiz.”

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte