SRINAGAR: Former Director of Tourism department and an avid blogger, Mohammad Ashraf Batku is no more. He has passed away last night at SKIMS in Srinagar. He was unwell briefly.
Batku was a trained engineer from Srinagar’s Regional Engineering College who eventually landed in the administration. He was part of a youth movement and was even arrested at one point if time. He served the department for around 30 years and rose to become its Director-General, a position he retained till his retirement in 2003.
He was suffering from severe pneumonia over past few days but, as per his younger brother Abdul Hameed, he was wrongly treated for COVID-19 and overloaded with wrong medicines at SKIMS. His coronavirus test came out negative but was made available only after his death.
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A frequent writer, he was a trekker and had written a lot of about his treks in far and wide of Kashmir. Post-retirement, at one stage of his life, he was even an accredited journalist who was writing for some middle east newspaper.
Ashraf was admitted to SKIMS because of pneumonia.
His funeral prayers are slated at 9:30 am at Jawahar Nagar.