Senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Saturday interacted with the media through Twitter and Facebook after authorities disallowed his scheduled presser in Srinagar. The Mirwaiz said the Indian electronic media was out to malign him and his family with unfounded and baseless allegations.
After the authorities sealed all roads leading his Nigeen residence on the city outskirts, preventing the presser, the Mirwaiz read out a statement online – rubbishing allegations that he had been the recipient of funds to promote unlawful activities like stone pelting in the valley.
“One of these Indian TV news channels has levelled allegations against me and my family, saying I have been receiving funds from Pakistan for promoting stone pelting here.
“I find it below my dignity to even send a legal notice to this TV channel because I know to further their TRP ratings, these channels have been spreading false propaganda.
“But, I want to make it clear that I am living with my mother in a house constructed by my late father (Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq).
“My family owns a piece of land in Rajouri Kadal area on which some shops have been constructed and a branch of the J&K Bank functions in the first floor of that construction.
“The rent of the shops is deposited in my account at this bank branch. I have also constructed six shops in Lal Bazar area of Srinagar and the rent thereof is received by my family.
“I solemnize marriages and attend religious functions organized by my disciples in my position as the Mirwaiz. The disciples make devotional offerings to me in terms of presents including gifts or money.
“The school run by the trust headed by me has income that is spent on the school functioning and the income from shopping complex at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar is spent on the maintenance, upkeep and renovation of the grand mosque.
“The accounts of both the school and the Jamia Masjid are audited every year and these are in public domain.”
The Mirwaiz has been under house arrest for over a month. No Friday prayers have been allowed by the authorities in the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area in Srinagar for the last six Fridays.
The Mirwaiz delivers his Friday sermon at the Jamia Masjid.