Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,Saturday deeply condoled the tragic death of over 1200 Hajjis in the holy city of Makkah Mukaramah during annual Hajj pilgrimage this year and urged the Saudi Arabian government to institute a credible and impartial inquiry to ascertain the causes that led to fatal Mina stampede and the crane crash, outside the Grand Masjid. He also paid homage to former President, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former Parliamentarian and Legislators and ex-Chief Justice of J&K High Court, who died during the recess between the last Session of the Legislature and the commencement of the Autumn Session today. The Chief Minister was speaking during the Obituary References in both Houses of the Legislature today. Given the magnitude of death toll in Mina stampede and crane crash incident, Mufti Sayeed said a credible and transparent inquiry is required to be held to put all blame games and speculations at rest. “Despite state-of-the-art and modern facilities available in Saudi Arabia, it is unfathomable that such lapses could have occurred. It has become necessary to take all corrective measures so that such incidents do not occur in future,” he stressed. Placing high priority on making fool-proof arrangements to avoid such lapses in future, the Chief Minister said the anxiety persists amongst several relatives whose loved ones are still missing even after 10 days of Mina stampede. He said he too was restive as his daughter, Mehbooba Mufti, was also in Saudi Arabia as head of the Indian Goodwill delegation. “I hope in future all necessary arrangements are put in place to ensure safety and security of the Hajjis there,” he stated. Describing death as predestined and inevitable, Mufti Sayeed expressed solidarity with the bereaved families of those who died in the two tragic incidents. “I pray to Almighty Allah to grant a place in Jannah to all those who passed away during the Hajj pilgrimage this year,” he said. Describing A. P. J. Abdul Kalam as ‘Missile Man’ of India and the People’s President, the Chief Minister praised his modesty and meticulousness when he was occupying high office. “During one of my meetings with him at Rashtrapti Bhavan, he opened his computer and discussed the health plan for J&K with me,” he said, while describing him as a scientist par excellence and a humble man, who was very popular amongst the children,” he added. Mufti Sayeed also remembered his long association with former Minister, Ghulam Rasool Kar, whom he described as his companion. “He struggled all through his life for ameliorating the sufferings of the underprivileged people and remained connected to his roots,” he added. Mufti Sayeed also paid homage to former Minister, Mir Ghulam Mohammad Poonchi. “I have had the privilege of enjoying his hospitality. He was a very selfless leader who worked for the welfare of the people all through his life,” he added. Referring to ex-Minister Abdul Gani Shah (Veeri), the Chief Minister said though he shared a different political thought, yet he was a deeply-rooted politician, who was very popular amongst the masses. Paying rich tributes to Khwaja Sanauallah Dar, the Chief Minister credited him for conceiving the Industrial Growth Centre at Lassipora, Pulwama, during his brief stint as state’s Industries & Commerce Minister. Mufti Sayeed also paid glowing tributes to former Parliamentarian and Legislator, Janak Raj Gupta, and recalled his long association with him. “I cherished my friendship with him and in his death I lost a very dear companion,” he added. The Chief Minister also remembered the contribution of illustrious lawmakers, who also passed away, which included ex-MLCs Ghulam Mohammad Misger and Vir Chand Mahasha. He also paid homage to the former Chief Justice of J&K High Court and ex-Secretary, Legislative Assembly, Mian Jalal-ud-din. Mufti Sayeed also remembered Farida Mir, ex-MLC, and called her a dedicated social worker, who worked tirelessly for empowerment of weaker sections of the society, in particular women. A two-minute silence was also observed as a mark of respect to the departed souls in both the Houses of the Legislature.
2015 Kashmir Despatch