Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday announced a holiday for the day and a seven-day mourning as a mark of respect to the state chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who died at AIIMS in New Delhi earlier in the day.
Sayeed, 79, took charge of the state on March 1 last year, heading a PDP-BJP alliance. He breathed his last on Thursday morning after remaining on ventilator for the past few days.
As part of the state mourning, flags atop buildings of constitutional authorities and state government will fly at half-mast for seven says, an official spokesman said.
Meanwhile, all Kashmir University and Board of School Education examinations scheduled for Thursday have been postponed, officials said.
In view of the demise of the chief minister, all the exams of Kashmir University have been postponed, the PRO of the University said. He said fresh dates will be notified in due course of time.
The Central University of Kashmir exams have also been postponed, a university official said.
Similarly, board exams scheduled for Thursday were also postponed, officials said.
An official said all official functions of the state government scheduled for today have been cancelled or postponed after the death of the chief minister.
Tributes have been pouring in for the veteran PDP leader and a stalwart in Kashmir politics.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Mufti sahab’s demise leaves a huge void in the nation and in J&K, where his exemplary leadership had a major impact on people’s lives. RIP. What stood out about Mufti sahab was his statesmanship. In his long political journey he won many admirers across the political spectrum.
“Mufti sahab provided a healing touch to J&K through his leadership. He will be missed by all of us. Condolences to his family & supporters.”
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said, “Just heard the terrible terrible news of Mufti Sahib’s passing away. I’m shocked & deeply saddened. May he rest in peace. My heart felt sympathies to Mrs Syed, Mehbooba & the entire family in this most difficult of times. My & my family’s prayers are with them.”
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “V sad to hear abt Shri Mufti Mohd. Sayeed’s demise. May his soul rest in peace. Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family (sic).”
Congress’ vice president Rahul Gandhi said, “Extremely saddened to learn of the passing away of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Saab. My condolences to his family and supporters. A veteran politician, he had a long & distinguished political career. His loss will be deeply mourned in J&K and across the country.”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Deeply pained to learn of J&K CM Shri Mufti Mohd. Sayeed’s demise. He was known for his love for common people, especially the underprivileged. Mufti Sayeed ji had a wonderful understanding of complex issues pertaining to J&K. He wanted to bring permanent peace to the valley.”