23 January 2020 04:09 AM



Last Rites for Mufti

SRINAGAR: Preparations are underway for the funeral prayers of J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who passed away early Thursday morning at AIIMS after a history of medical conditions, making him the third chief minister after Sheikh Abdullah and GM Sadiq to die in office.

The body of Sayeed was flown from New Delhi's Palam airport in a state craft where the late chief minister was bid final adieu by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other political leaders. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, union home minister Rajnath Singh, who is accompanying the body to Srinagar, and several politicians had gone to inquire about Sayeed's health at AIIMS over the last few days after his condition showed no sign of improvement.

According to AIIMS spokesperson, Mufti breathed his last on Thursday at 7:30 am. Sayeed had been in hospital for two weeks and was being treated for pneumonia and sepsis. He was put on ventilator support yesterday after his condition worsened. PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti, her two daughters, brother and two sisters were camping in New Delhi after Sayeed caught a respiratory condition during a tour of Srinagar city, his last ditch effort to shake up the administration, which refused to relent and took away his life.

According to a PDP leader, Sayeed will be taken to his Fairview Residence on Gupkar here following which it will be brought to Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium, named after the National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, in Srinagar for funeral prayers. Security has been beefed up in parts of Kashmir including the capital Srinagar's Gupkar and Sonwar areas to prevent any untoward incident, a senior J&K Police officer said.

The body of Sayeed, who touched the peak of his political career in 1989 by becoming independent India's first home minister, will then be taken to Badshahi Bagh of south Kashmir's Bijbehara, his ancestral town, where it will be laid to eternal rest.

Sayeed, a lawyer by profession and a former Congressman, founded People's Democratic Party in 1999 which emerged as a formidable opponent to National Conference within just two decades. Sayeed's daughter, Mehbooba Mufti, is likely to be sworn in as the next chief minister with the party having reportedly got the BJP on board for the anointment.