Sajid Iqbal

The 28-year-old budding lawyer Sajid Iqbal, was killed in a traffic accident near Awantipora at 1.00 am while returning to Srinagar from a wedding at Islamabad.

Sajid’s car had swerved to extreme end of the highway and crashed against a poplar tree, killing him on spot. He was travelling alone when he met with the accident.

Born on June 19, 1984, Sajid passed his matriculation with distinction from the Burn Hall School. He later graduated in law from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and was presently working as legal advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Women’s Development Corporation and Entrepreneurship Development Institute. A very fertile mind, he used to write for local newspapers. Sajid had chosen to serve people in Kashmir over a career outside the country.

Earlier this year he worked as project officer in an international developmental organization Mercy Corps. Family sources said Sajid was recently awarded scholarship by the Institute of Peace and Security London and was scheduled to leave for Egypt in June.

“Sajid had immense love for Kashmir. During the 2005 earthquake, he returned from UK and worked with an NGO for earthquake victims in Tangdar. He wanted to work for upliftment of the downtrodden.

But destiny had something else in store for him,” said one of his close friends. Sajid is the only son of top bureaucrat, Iqbal Khanday and Principal District and Sessions Judge Kaneez Fatima. His only sister, Sehar Iqbal, had worked with Agha Khan Foundation before joining Mufti Sayeed’s Peoples Democratic Party and contesting Assembly elections, unsuccessfully, from the home constituency of Kokernag in November 2008.

Sajid comes from a family of bureaucrats and top officials. His maternal grandfather Shamsuddin Ganai is the former Public Service Commission Chairman. Two of Ganai’s daughters are married to Commissioner-Secretary Power, Basharat Ahmed Dhar and DIG South Kashmir Shafqat Watali. Ganai also happens to be senior IAS officer Khursheed Ahmed Ganai’s uncle. Both Khanday and Khursheed have functioned as Principal Secretary to two chief ministers, Mufti Sayeed and Omar Abdullah, respectively.

Hundreds of people including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah besides ministers, bureaucrats and politicians participated in his funeral prayers at SK Cricket Stadium, Sonwar. Sajid’s body was laid to rest at a graveyard in Friends Colony, Humhama.

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