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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


Qari Mohammad Idris, Imam of New Delhi Jama Masjid near Parliament House died on 8 January at Meerut where he was laid to rest on 9th. He was 75 and is survived by two sons and two daughters. He was bed-ridden for the past 3-4 months before his death. He recited verses from the Qur’an for many years on All India Radio’s External Services. He was also closely associated with Jamiatul Ulama-e Hind and its president, Maulana Asad Madni, paying tributes to him said that he sincerely and punctually performed his duties as New Delhi Jama Masjid’s Imam for 55 years.

Fazal Haq Khan, freedom fighter, former home minister of Rampur state and UP MLA died at Rampur on 13 January after a prolonged illness. In 1937 when he started a movement against the then Nawab Raza Ali Khan of Rampur, he was jailed where he was daily caned and compelled to speak ‘Nawab of Rampur Zindabad’. However, after Independence when the same Nawab Sayyad Raza Ali Khan formed his council of ministers he inducted Fazal Haq Khan as home minister. 

Abdul Kalam, MLA from a Varanasi assembly constituency died of cancer in Kanpur on 5 January where he had been taken for treatment. He was also suffering from jaundice. He was 45 and leaves behind his mother, wife, three sons and a 3-year old adopted daughter. Leaders of many political parties attended his funeral. His body was brought from Kanpur to Varanasi where he was buried. 

Prof. Mirza Akbar Ali Beg, former head of the department of Urdu at Usmania University and presently secretary and correspondent of Urdu Arts College died of heart attack at his residence in Hyderabad on 11 January. He was also secretary of Oriental Urdu College. 

Ahmad Basheer, renowned author, critic and scholar of Pakistan died of cancer in Lahore on 25 December last year at the age of 82 after a prolonged illness. He left behind his widow, one son and four daughters. News of his death was broadcast by BBC. Among his Urdu books are Jo Mile the Raaste mein, Dil Bhatke ga’, a novel in Urdu Manzil Manzil Dil Bhatke Ga and an English novel Dancing Wolves.

Jammu and Kashmir’s former minister and leader of opposition in the present Assembly, Abdul Qaiyyum died in Srinagar on 1 January’ 05 at the age of 73. After the defeat of National Conference government led by Dr Farooq Abdullah in 2002, he had become leader of the opposition in the Assembly.

Porf Azaz Afzal, renowned Urdu poet of Bengal died in Kolkata on 1 January at the age of 68 years. Two collections of his poems Zakhm-e Sada (1974) and Unpadh Aandhi (1980) were published in addition to the collection of his critical articles Khad-o Khaal which was published in 2003. Anthology of his poems, Maqtal ki Shairi was translated into Bengali. He was honoured with Imteyaz-e Meer Award by All India Meer Academy, Lucknow in 1985 and with Maulana Abdur Razzaq Malihabadi Award by West Bengal Urdu Academy. He leaves behind his widow, one son and four daughters. 

Haji Akhlaq, a former MLA from Meerut and later a Samajwadi Party leader died in Meerut on 1 January after a prolonged illness. In 1983 he was elected to U P Assembly on Janta Dal ticket. He was 59. Traders of his locality in Gazri Bazar observed a three-day shutdown in his memory. 

Qari Mohammad Ibrahim, a religious divine of Sardhana and rector of Madrasa Ishaqia Qamrul Uloom died of a heart attack in Sardhana on 31 December last year at the age of 72. From his younger days till his death he was associated with many madrasas. «

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