Srinagar, Feb 12: Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir Bashir-ud-din Ahmad Farooqui died at a hospital in Srinagar on Tuesday.
Ahmad was 82. He was hospitalised on Monday evening after he complained of chest pain, the family of the Grand Mufti said.
They said he breathed his last at the hospital at around 3 am.
Ahmad was the Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir for over three decades. He got a Masters’ degree in Arabic and a law degree from Aligarh Muslim University before pursuing religious education.
The funeral prayers for the Grand Mufti were held in the afternoon at Khanqah-e-Mo’ualla in the old city.
Ahmad’s son, Mufti Nasir-ul Islam, is likely to succeed his father as the Grand Mufti of the state.
The death was widely mourned with many noted politicians, religious leaders and civil society members sending condolence messages.
Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the demise of the Grand Mufti.
In his message Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family in its hour of grief.
Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed sorrow and heartfelt condolence over the demise, stating that people of Kashmir will always remember his service in the field of Islamic jurisprudence and his contribution in social and political sphere of the valley.
In his message of condolence, to the Mufti family, he said that late Mufti Sahib shared a close bond with Mirwaiz family.
Mirwaiz Umar said that the Grand Mufti infused a new energy in two important institutions—Darul Iftah and Darul Qaza and had always been on the fore front to serve the people through these institutions to the best of his capability. With the death of Grand Mufti, an era has ended he said.
Terming the death of Grand Mufti as a personal loss, Mirwaiz said that the late Mufti has had close relations with the founder of Awami Action Committee Shaheed-e-Milat Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Soon after coming to know about the death of Grand Mufti, Mirwaiz visited the family of deceased to express solidarity and sympathy with the bereaved family especially his son Mufti Nasirul Islam, who he said should carry his father’s work forward.
Mirwaiz also offered special Fateh prayers for the deceased and prayed for the highest standards in the paradise for the departed soul. Mirwaiz also participated in the funeral prayers at Khanqah-e-Moulla.
Meanwhile, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah too expressed grief over the demise of Grand Mufti.
Farooq while expressing grief said: “Kashmir has lost a towering personality, who had carved a space for himself in the scholarly corridors of Kashmir. His scholarly attainments and penchant for Islamic learning will be remembered for the times to come. I pray for peace to the soul of departed and strength to the grief-stricken family to bear the loss.”
“May Allah grant heaven to Mufti Bashir-ud-Din. My condolences to the family at this time of great personal loss,” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said in his condolence message.
Omar also participated in the funeral prayers of the deceased.
“Sad to learn about passing away of Mufti Bashiruddin saheb. In him Kashmir lost a respected religious scholar and thought leader… Stand in solidarity with the family and followers of Mufti saheb,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
Advisor Ganai who is also the chairman of the Muslim Wakf Board expressed grief over the demise of Mufti Azam.
He said that he had developed a warm personal relationship with Mufti Azam over the years since his posting as Divisional Commissioner Kashmir in 1998 and often consulted him to get his valued advice. Ganai said that he had great regard for Mufti Azam for his qualities, knowledge and wisdom.
Describing the demise of Mufti Azam as an irreparable loss to the Kashmir society and in fact the whole state, Advisor expressed deep sympathies with the family and followers of Mufti Azam and prayed for place for his soul in Jannat ul Firdous. The Advisor also prayed for strength to the bereaved family and admirers of the late Mufti Azam.
In times of hatred, Sikh brethren’s efforts spread positive vibes
Srinagar, Feb 20: With Kashmiris facing the heat following the suicide attack in Pulwama, Sikh groups have come to the rescue of Valleyites putting up in various parts of India.
In the aftermath of Lethpora incident in which 49 CRPF troopers were killed last week, there has been a spate of attacks against Kashmiris in Jammu and other parts of India.
Facing threats and harassment, Kashmiris have been forced to leave their education and businesses midway and make efforts to return home.
In these times of worry, Khalsa Aid International, an NGO, has reached out to the distressed students and offered them all possible help.
At least 30 Sikh youth associated with the NGO, have been helping Kashmiris in various parts.
“We evacuated scores of Kashmiris from Dehradun to Mohali and then to Jammu in the past three days. We transported first batch of 100 students and another of 150 from Dehradun to Jammu with proper security. At least 70 more students are on the way to Jammu,” Jeevanjyot Singh, who is associated with Khalsa International told The Kashmir Monitor.
“Eight Kashmiri girls were also sent to Srinagar by air after rescued from Dehradun,” he said.
Jeevanjyot said that Kashmiri students were feeling safe in Punjab.
“They are also provided accommodation at a Gurduwara in 3D1 sector Mohali arranged by the Gurudwara committee,” he said.
The group has provided several helpline numbers for Ambala, Chandigarh and Dehradun.
The role of Sikh youth has been well appreciated on social media in Kashmir and elsewhere.
“The Sikh sangat has gone above & beyond the call of duty in reaching out & helping Kashmiris in distress, whether in Jammu or outside the state,” former J&K CM, Omar Abdullah tweeted on Wednesday.
Mehbooba Makhdoomi, a prominent columnist and researcher, wrote: Kashmir pays gratitude to Sikh community in general & @Khalsa_Aid International in specific for coming to our rescue, at a time when it mattered. “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah”. Will protect you with our blood, if, God Forbid, the need arises.”
Shinjini, a Twitter user wrote: “These @khalsa guys restore my faith in humanity. At a time when most of the country is going cuckoo, these guys are quietly doing what’s necessary.”
Kabir, a former JNU student, tweeted: “Salutes to @khalsa-Aid, when the streets across India are resonating with hate and malice, the gallant Sikhs came to the rescue of Kashmiris.”
A group of Sikhs from Tral Pulwama have also started free Langer and accommodation for Kashmiris near Jammu bus stand.
“We also have a group of volunteers from Jammu and have been providing all possible help to Kashmiris and many were rescued from mobs,” a Sikh volunteer from Tral told The Kashmir Monitor.
Similarly, the Sikh groups have arranged accommodation at various places in Chandigarh and Jammu for Kashmiris.
One of the students, who returned from Dehradun, said, “Our college authorities told us to leave saying when things get normal they will call us back. There was no safety for us and the crowd outside the campus threatened to beat us up.”
“The state government should make concrete efforts to ensure the safety of Kashmiris, he said adding: “Sikhs really played an important role in rescuing Kashmiri youth from the goons”.
Two Kashmiri shawl vendors attacked on train
New Delhi, Feb 20: Two Kashmiri shawl vendors have claimed they were beaten up and called “stone pelters” by unidentified men on a train, forcing them to cut short their business trip to Rohtak, officials said Wednesday.
The incident comes amid reports of attacks on Kashmiri people in many parts of the country in the aftermath of the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama that left 49 personnel dead.
“Three Kashmiri shawl vendors boarded the general compartment of a local train from Sarai Rohilla station at around 10.40 am for a business trip to Sampla in Haryana. They claimed they were pushed into a corner and called ‘stone pelters’,” said Dinesh Gupta, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways).
“When they objected, the accused allegedly abused and slapped two Kashmiri vendors. The attackers said ‘you hurl stones there (in Kashmir) and come to earning a livelihood here’. Other passengers also joined in and created a ruckus,” the DCP (Railways) said.
Thereafter, the three Kashmiri men de-boarded at Nangloi station, leaving their bags containing shawls and suits worth around Rs 2 lakh in the train, Gupta added.
A case has been registered and the matter is being probed, he said.
The three men said they came to Delhi in December last year and were staying in Sarai Rohilla. They have been coming here for business purposes for the last 10 years.
The three Kashmiri men approached Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat through their local MLA. Karat helped them file a complaint with police.
“The men claimed the attackers told them they were from the armed forces. They said ‘you are the ones who killed our men’.
“Around 15-20 other men also joined in and beat the Kashmiri men with belts. The incident took place when they were crossing Mangolpuri. One of the three Kashmiris suffered severe head injuries and another sustained wounds on face,” she said.
Police said the attackers were yet to be identified, and it was not clear if they were from the armed forces since they were in plain clothes.
Non-locals protest against attacks on Kashmiris
Srinagar, Feb 20: Dozens of non-locals workers and businessmen putting up in Kashmir Wednesday carried out a peaceful protest against the harassment and attacks meted out to Kashmiris in different parts of India.
A large number of non-locals assembled at Hari Singh High Street here and raised slogans against miscreants attacking the students and businessmen of the valley operating in other states in wake of the Lethpora bombing last week.
They demanded the safety of Kashmiri traders and students outside the valley.
A Kolkata resident, Sushant Shanti, who is running a shop at Hari Singh High Street, told The Kashmir Monitor that they have been living in Kashmir for 25 years and have never faced any threat.
“I strongly condemn the atrocities that our Kashmiri youth and traders are facing outside Kashmir,” said Shanti, adding: “I request my Hindu brothers to ensure the safety of Kashmiris there.”
Another non local shopkeeper at Hari Singh High Street, Rajinder Kumar said: “Our Kashmiri brothers and students who are pursuing education in other states are facing extreme brutality and we strongly condemn this act of cowardice.”
Kumar said that some elements are politicizing the Lethpora incident.
“Whatever happens here, we have always been treated with brotherhood and humanity,” he said.
India ‘to choke’ Pakistan’s water supply in light of Pulwama: Nitin Gadkari
New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, on Thursday, threatened that India would ‘choke’ the water supply to Pakistan in light...
69 killed as massive fire breaks out in chemical warehouses in Bangladesh capital
Dhaka: At least 69 people were killed as a massive fire ripped through several buildings also used as chemical and...