Srinagar: Senior leader of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari passed away Tuesday morning after a prolonged liver illness. He was also an influential Shia cleric, and a businessman.
Ansari was undergoing specialized treatment for liver cirrhosis and breathed his last this morning. Reports said that thousands of people were rushing towards his house in Qamarwari area of Srinagar to mourn his death.
The lawmaker represented North Kashmir’s Pattan constituency in the State Legislative Assembly. He was earlier a member of Congress and National Conference parties. He is also a business tycoon with interests in car dealerships.
Ansari succeeded his father Molvi Muhammad Jawad as president of All Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association in Jammu & Kashmir in 1962, a position he holds for life.
Ansari was thrice the target of unsuccessful assassination attempts. In June 2000 Ansari barely escaped the explosion of a landmine while addressing a religious congregation. The blast killed twelve of his followers. On 1 September 2000 Ansari was injured by an IED explosion that killed two policemen and a driver.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed condolences on his demise. “Maulvi Sb has cast a long shadow with his contribution as a religious leader and as a public representative which will be long remembered,” he wrote on twitter. “His ultimate demise has left a void that will be long felt.” The Chief Minister later visited the residence of the late leader expressed his solidarity with the bereaved family, conveyed his sympathy, offered Fateh and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.