With moist eyes, beating their chests, people from across the Valley converged at Baba Mohalla in South Kashmir’s Bijbehara on Thursday, to offer their condolences. It was here that late CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was born 79 years ago in a prestigious family of religious scholars and clerics.
Shrieks grew into loud wails as 60-year-old Mohammad Ehsan, a PDP worker who knew Mufti for the past 30 years, rushed in. “The man with a vision is no more, Kashmir has become orphan,” he cried, as the others tried to console him.
Mufti’s younger brother Mohammad Amin consoled the other mourners by promising them that he would be given a “statesmen’s burial” at his ancestral grave yard a few metres away.
But people said the PDP patron had desired a burial in the courtyard of sufi saint Baba Naseebuddin Gazi’s shrine, where all his ancestors lay buried.
As they waiting for the man “who made the area famous”, Mufti’s neighbours remembered how he humble was in his dealings. “He had a very constructive mind, despite the destruction all around us,” said 56-year-old Ali Mohammad.
But for 65-year-old Wali Mohammad Sheikh from the famous hill resort of Pahalgam, association with Mufti was a matter of heart.
“He always wanted good for the Valley. How much of that people let him achieve is a matter of debate,” the former tourism department employee said.