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Abdul Gani Lone
By Javed Matjee, Srinagar

The 70 year old Peoples’ conference chairman and one of the seven central executive members of the Hurriyat conference, Abdul Ghani Lone had a political career, spread over about five decades, to his credit. Born on May 06, 1932, at Dard Hare in the frontier district Kupwara, Lone’s father Ghulam Ahmad Lone was a small farmer. After Mr. Ghani was introduced in the state politics, the people of his native area changed name of their village to Lone Hare. Father of two sons and two daughters, Mr. Lone was a law graduate of Aligrah Muslim University (AMU) and practiced as an advocate in a Handwara (Kupwara) court for some time. 

Abdul Ghani Lone’s political career virtually started when he was a student of class IX and was arrested in connection with Zachaldara bomb blast case. It was the stage when Lone was a little boy studying in the Sopore high school, where he had sought admission after doing his middle at govt. middle school Trehgam. He did his graduation from the S.P. College Srinagar in 1955 before proceeding to AMU for a degree in law in 1957. Mr. Lone’s education was interrupted by arrests and other activities. It was in Aug. 1953 that young Lone was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 500 for delivering ‘objectionable’ speech in a mosque at Sopore. On his return from Aligrah with a degree, Mr. Lone started practicing law at Handwara court before formally coming to politics. He made his maiden entry into state assembly in 1967 as a Congress candidate. Next year he was once again arrested. However, only a year after his arrest, Mr. Lone became a minister of state in the Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq ministry. In the 1972 assembly elections, Lone again made his entry to the state assembly and again became a minister of state. Later Syed Mir Qasim evaluated Lone and gave him charge of health and education as a cabinet minister. In 1977 Mr. Lone was influenced by Janta wave. He joined the Janta Party and fought assembly elections as a Janta candidate to make yet another entry into the state assembly. However after the Janta party’s fall, Mr. Lone decided to have his own political party and floated the Peoples Conference, of which he became the chairman. He made restoration of internal autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir as the main motive of his party. 



Abdul Ghani Lone’s political career virtually started when he was a student of class IX and was arrested in connection with Zachaldara bomb blast case. It was the stage when Lone was a young boy studying in the Sopore high school, where he had sought admission after passing out of the govt. Middle School at Trehgam.

Mr. Lone like other politicians fell prey to the mass rigging and election malpractices and lost to NC-Cong. joint candidate. After 1987 elections, Abdul Ghani Lone made his entry into the newly formed Muslim United Front (MUF), which had earlier given a very tough fight to NC-Cong. Alliance in the assembly elections. Lone had a fame for his boldness.



Earlier Mr. Lone had left the National conference after severe differences with party leadership alleging that NC leaders were not serious about attaining the autonomy and it was a mere slogan with them. In the 1983 assembly elections, Mr. Lone contested from Karnah (in the Kupwara district) as the people’s conference candidate and retained the seat. However in the 1987 elections, Mr. Lone like other politicians fell prey to the mass rigging and election malpractices and lost to NC-Cong. joint candidate. After 1987 elections, Abdul Ghani Lone made his entry to the newly formed Muslim United Front (MUF), which had earlier given a very tough fight to NC-Cong. Alliance in the assembly elections. Lone had a fame for his boldness. He acted, as a hard opponent against late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah when big guns used to surrender before latter’s might. After introduction of militancy in Kashmir, Mr. Lone was among those who not only endorsed armed struggle but also justified it to attain the lost rights. Lone was arrested for more than two years during past 12 years and ultimately paid the heaviest price.  q

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