Bhopal’s Qazi e Shahar passes away

By Pervez Bari,,

Bhopal: The Qazi e Shahar of Bhopal, the state capital of central Indian province of Madhya Pradesh, Maulana Mufti Abdul Lateef Khan Qasmi passed away in the wee hours of Sunday morning following massive cardiac arrest while being rushed to hospital. He was 63. He is survived by his wife, three sons and six daughters and large number of relatives and friends to mourn his loss.

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Bhopal Shahar Qazi was laid to rest in the afternoon at Jhadda graveyard in Jahangirabad locality of the city after Namaz-e-Janazah led by Bhopal Shahar Mufti Syed Mohammad Fazil Qasmi was held at Lal Parade police ground.

Meanwhile, Bhopal Shahar Mufti Maulana Syed Mohammad Fazil Qasmi has been appointed as the new Bhopal Shahar Qazi. While Maulana Abul Kalaam Qasmi, the Nayab Mufti, has been elevated to the post of Bhopal Shahar Mufti.

The funeral procession was a sea of humanity wherein about 200,000 to 300,000 people participated not only from Bhopal but from small townships like Sehore, Sagar, Berasia, Raisen, Obaidullahganj etc. located in the vicinity of the state capital. People, both elite and the commoner, jostled with one another to lend their shoulders to the casket carrying the body of late Bhopal Shahar Qazi. The pathway from where the funeral procession passed was littered with slippers, sandals, shoes as surging crowd swelled and people had no chance to retrieve their slipping away footwear for want of getting trampled in the melee if they tried. The protruding handles at four ends were lengthened by tying long rods to enable more people to lend their shoulders to the casket.

As soon as the news of his sad demise spread in the State capital, thousands of followers, supporters, local leaders and clerics of the community rushed to his residence to pay homage to the departed soul. Shopkeepers downed the shutters of their shops as a mark of respect in his memory.

Shahar Qazi Maulana Abdul Lateef, son of Abdul Aziz, was born in Qazipura of the city in 1947. He got his primary education in the State capital. Later, he earned his Aalim and Fazil degrees from Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband in Uttar Pradesh. He worked as Bhopal Shahar Mufti from 1990 to 2002 and was appointed Shahar Qazi in 2002. Earlier, he had worked as Nayab Mufti and Nayab Qazi.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has expressed profound grief over the demise of Bhopal Shahar Qazi. In a condolence message, Chouhan said that Shahar Qazi throughout his life propagated the message of peace and religious harmony thereby strengthening the bonds of goodwill, brotherhood and amity among different sections of the society. In his death, the city has suffered a great loss. Urban Development Minister Babulal Gaur in a condolence message to the Qazi’s family expressed deep grief on his demise.

Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, (MPCC), president Suresh Pachauri also expressed deep grief on the sudden demise of the Shahar Qazi. Others who condoled his death included Social Democratic Party of India national vice president Advocate Sajid Siddiqui, Congress MLA Arif Aqueel, former Member of Parliament Surendra Singh Thakur, MPCC spokesman & Minority Department convener Arif Masood, Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims Madhya Pradesh unit secretary Masood Ahmad, former Mayors Sunil Sood, Congress district president Zaheer Ahmad, State president of the Congress Sadbhavana Cell Mushtaque Mallik etc. ([email protected])