Jammu and Kashmir police have carried out raids in Srinagar’s old city to catch alleged hooligans who tried to disturb peace at the Jamia Masjid where moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq delivered his first sermon on Friday after four years of house detention.
The Hurriyat leader, also the Valley’s Mirwaiz or chief priest who was put under house arrest a day ahead of the August 5, 2019, scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, was released on Friday and allowed to address a Friday gathering at Jamia Masjid.
Thousands of people turned up to listen to his speech. He received a grand reception at the mosque from his supporters. Throughout Saturday, he received delegations of people at his home in Srinagar’s Nageen.
The Srinagar police on Saturday said they had arrested 10 hooligans who were allegedly trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere outside Jamia Masjid after Friday prayers.
“They shall be booked under relevant sections of the law. The public is requested not to indulge in such acts failing which law will take its own course,” the police posted on X.
The police have not explained how the arrested men were trying to disturb peace. A picture released by the police showed the 10 men pulling their ears, apparently on the directions of cops.
Official sources said some of them were picked up during multiple raids in the city while the others were arrested after they were summoned by the police.
The Mirwaiz, who broke down during his speech on Friday, had asked people to disperse peacefully after prayers.
He refrained from speaking about “azaadi” or the right to self-determination for Kashmiris during his first speech, toning down the rhetoric apparently to avoid more police action against him. Separatist activities have attracted tough police action after the 2019 revocation of special status.