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Crowds gather in Indian-controlled Kashmir as authorities free key Muslim cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq after years of house arrest

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« Crowds gathered at Grand Mosque in Kashmir on Friday to listen to the speech of released separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, after 4 years go house arrest.
« The abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, the downgrading of J&K into a union territory from a state, the dismemberment of Ladakh from it and post-that new laws and diktats being imposed incessantly through the Reorganisation Act are unfortunately harsh unilateral decisions of disempowerment, » said Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Authorities have beefed up security at the Grand Mosque by deploying additional armed policemen. Footage shows military personnel patrolling the mosque area.
It was Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s first public appearance after authorities lifted the siege on his house in the capital Srinagar. Mirwaiz demanded a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue as its territory is divided between India, Pakistan and China. He also demanded unconditional release of all political prisoners of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mirwaiz Umar was placed under house arrest by the Jammu and Kashmir authorities as part of a massive crackdown on opposition parties in 2019. »

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