HC gives J&K admin ‘last and final opportunity’ to respond to Mirwaiz’s petition

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

The court fixed the next date of hearing on March 6.

Justice Wasim Sadiq Narwal, while granting the plea of the government seeking one week’s time for filing the reply to Mirwaiz’s petition, said it was 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 asked the administration to file a reply positively by or before the February 19.

Meanwhile, the Mirwaiz said the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid had approached the district authorities to know the reasons for curbs placed on him on Fridays and other important 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 told PTI.

He said authorities use “dilly dallying” tactics when asked by Anjuman, the managing body of the historic Jamia Masjid, for the reasons for the curbs.

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

The Mirwaiz said the approach of the authorities was disconcerting as the fasting month of Ramzan was approaching and “there are multiple religious events and congregations planned for me as the Mirwaiz”. — (PTI)