Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s visit to the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar was emotional. The Kashmiri cleric and political figure who supports freedom led Friday prayers at the famous mosque in the capital of the controlled region after spending more than four years under house confinement.
Hundreds of admirers met the Mirwaiz as Indian security forces closely monitored the crowd. Since the BJP-led government withdrew Kashmir’s autonomous status in August 2019, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader has been detained.
Since then, India’s security apparatus has detained numerous Kashmiri leaders and regular residents. The Mirwaiz called on the Indian authorities during the sermon to free the “thousands” of youths, journalists, activists, and attorneys who are still detained in occupied Kashmir.The head of the APHC underlined his demand for a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, referring to it as a “human” matter and calling for the return of “our Pandit brothers,” a reference to the Hindu community that calls Kashmir home.What led the Indian government to free the Mirwaiz? It is challenging to say. The leader petitioned the J&K high court to end his house imprisonment, which led to his release. It is logical to believe that New Delhi’s approval was necessary for the release to take place.
This may be a hint that the Modi administration has come to the conclusion that its strident measures to put an end to the Kashmiri freedom movement are ineffective. The way India treats the jailed Kashmiris in the coming days will demonstrate if this presumption is accurate or whether the Mirwaiz’s release was an unusual occurrence.
All Kashmiris detained for calling for freedom must be released, but the authorities in particular need to look into the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation cases.. Having been found guilty in a dubious terrorism case, Mr. Malik is now facing the death penalty at the hands of Indian security forces.
These events are mostly perceived as efforts to stifle the Kashmiri freedom struggle by threatening influential leaders with detention and execution. If New Delhi is genuinely having a change of heart, the peace process should be relaunched seriously and participants from Pakistan, India, and Kashmir should be invited to the negotiating table. After the Indian elections of next year, a fuller picture in this regard should become apparent.