Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi: The Salar of Hyderabad is no more


September 30, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 29: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen supremo and six-time MP Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, who ruled the Hyderabad city politics for over five decades, died here on Monday evening following a brief illness.
He was 72 and is survived by wife, three sons and a daughter. His eldest son Asaduddin Owaisi is Hyderabad MP and second son Akbaruddin Owaisi is the floor leader of the MIM in the State Assembly. His youngest son Burhanuddin Owaisi edits the popular Urdu daily Etemaad.
A pall of gloom descended on the old city of Hyderabad as the news of his death spread. People observed an undeclared bandh as mark of respect to the senior Muslim political leader.
Owaisi had been ailing from a heart problem for quite some time and was admitted to a corporate hospital about 10 days ago. His condition improved following the admission, but suddenly deteriorated on Monday afternoon. He was brought to his residence in Himayatnagar in the evening and was declared dead later in the night.
The body will be brought to MIM headquarters Darus Salam at about 10.30 am on Tuesday for people to pay their last homage. It will be kept in state till 1.00 pm. The funeral prayers (Namaz-e-Janaza) will be held at the Darus Salam grounds after the noon (Zohar) prayers. Later, the body will be taken in a procession to the dargah of Hazrat Muhammad Hasan Sahib Qibla Abul Aliya at Aghapura where it will be laid to rest with State honours.
Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy, who is presently in New Delhi, is cutting short his trip and returning to Hyderabad on Tuesday morning to participate in Owaisi's funeral. The State government has announced a public holiday in Hyderabad on Tuesday as mark of respect to the departed leader.
Popularly known as "Salar" or commander, Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi is credited with strengthening the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen after he took over its reins from his father Abdul Wahed Owaisi. Owaisi brought a sea change in the literacy levels of Muslims in the State after he introduced a number of educational institutions. Several Muslim leaders followed suit and started their own schools and professional colleges.
A host of leaders cutting across partylines visited Owaisi's residence at Himayatnagar to offer floral tributes. Governor ND Tiwari, TD chief N Chandrababu Naidu, APCC chief D Srinivas, besides Rajasekhar Reddy condoled the death of Owaisi and described him as a senior Muslim leader, who stood for the cause of the poor, backward classes and minorities.
Born on February 14, 1936 he started his political career as a corporator in 1960 and represented the State Assembly for 22 years from 1962 to 1984 and the Lok Sabha for 20 years from 1984 to 2004.

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