MIM president Owaisi is dead

September 30th, 2008 - 2:34 am ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Sep 30 (IANS) Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president and one of India’s prominent Muslim leaders Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi died here Monday night, drawing curtains on an important chapter of political history of Hyderabad. Owaisi, 76, died after prolonged illness. He was admitted to a private hospital Sep 13 with breathing problems and has been on a ventilator since then.

Owaisi, who dominated Hyderabad politics for four decades, is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter.

He breathed his last around 9 p.m. at his residence in Hyderguda. The end came a few hours after he was shifted from hospital, his son and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said.

His body will be kept at Darussalam, the MIM headquarters, Tuesday morning to enable people to pay their last respects. The burial will take place at the Dargah Hazrat Mohammed Hasan graveyard near the party office.

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to accord state funeral to Owaisi who was the senior most Parliamentarian from Andhra Pradesh. Minister for power and minority welfare Mohammed Ali Shabbir announced that there will be a official holiday in Hyderabad on Tuesday in view of the funeral of Owaisi.

Hundreds of people gathered at his residence to have a last glimpse of the man who single handedly changed the course of Hyderabad politics. A pall of gloom descended over the old city, a MIM stronghold, with shopkeepers downing shutters. The area around the historic Charminar, which was teeming with Eid shoppers, plunged into gloom. Police beefed up security as a precautionary measure.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy who was in Delhi has cancelled all his engagements and was flying back to the city. The leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu too was coming back to Hyderabad from Chittoor to attend the funeral.

‘Salare-e-Millat’, (commander of the community) as he was popularly known, represented the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency for two decades. He was first elected to parliament in 1984 and re-elected in 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999.

Owaisi began his political career in his youth and was first elected to the state legislative assembly in 1962. He continued to be a state legislator till he was elected to parliament.

MIM has one MP and five state legislators from the old city, where Muslims are an overwhelming majority.

Meanwhile, the MIM executive at its emergency meeting unanimously elected Asaduddin Owaisi as its new president.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |