The restrictions on Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were eased after 20 months as claimed by officials in Sri Nagar. “The Mirwaiz is not under any detention,” a senior official told the local Indian media. A Hurriyat spokesman, however, said the decision of the release has not been officially conveyed to the Mirwaiz so far. Sources sated that the Mirwaiz is likely to be allowed to deliver Friday sermons at historic Jamia Masjid this week. It would be for the first time since August 4, 2019 that the Mirwaiz may resume his religious duties. Former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti welcomed Mirwaiz’s release from “arbitrary detention”. “Good to hear about Mirwaiz’s release from arbitrary detention. I hope that hundreds of Kashmiri men languishing in jails in and outside J&K will also be released soon. Its time they returned home to their families,” said Mufti in a tweet. Mirwaiz’s release comes on the backdrop of India and Pakistan issuing a joint statement last week to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the LoC and other sectors. The government move also comes ahead of the auspicious Islamic occasion of Mehraj-e-Alam, which falls on March 11. Several aides and separatist leaders, including former CMs Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah, were put under arrest after the Centre’s August 5 move. Most of them have been released now.