SRINAGAR: Abdul Gani Naseem, the former member of the assembly who represented Khan Sahab once has died. He was around 80.
Sources said Naseem had Covid-19 infection and was shifted to the SMHS Hospital. He was there for many days. Though he tested negative and was apparently recovered, he had some problem that led to his death. Naseem is survived by two sons, two daughters and wife.
SMHS medical superintendent, Dr Nazir Choudhary refused any information about Naseem’s demise.
A resident of Falchil village in Khansahab Budgam, Naseem was a school teacher and retired as headmaster. He was well-read and had good writing skills. Around 1990, he was lured by the separatist movement. Initially, he was affiliated with the al-Baraq militant outfit and later switched over to JKLF in 1994. He usually would manage the publicity of these outfits.
“When JKLF split into two groups led by Yasin Malik and Shabbir Siddiqui respectively, Naseem joined the latter,” Delhi newspaper Pioneer reported in 2002. “He became the chief after Siddiqui was killed in the Hazratbal shrine encounter in 1995. He surrendered a few months later. With the onset of counter-insurgency operations, Naseem closed ranks with politicians.”
Naseem joined the National Conference in 1996 and was fielded from the militant-infested Khansahib segment of Budgam. He secured 40 per cent votes to enter the Assembly. He did contest 2002 elections but failed to make a dent to the formidable Hakim Yasin who had decided against contesting in 1996. Interestingly, Hakim was Naseem’s student till ninth class.
After NC, Naseem joined Congress. In early 2019, he migrated to PDP and was with this party till his demise. The party has condoled his death.
“Ab Gani Naseem was a veteran legislator, renowned social reformer and his contribution towards people, party and social causes have been enormous. His passing away has created a void that is hard to fill,” the party said in a statement issued here,” the party said in a statement.
Meanwhile, National Conference Central Zone President Ali Mohammad Dar also has expressed profound grief over the demise of former MLA Khansahib Abdul Gani Naseem.
While expressing solidarity with the bereaved family, he prayed for peace to the departed and fortitude to the bereaved.