Thousands of mourners from all walks of life paid homage to Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) stalwart Panakkad Syed Mohammedali Shihab Thangal who dominated Kerala politics for over three decades on Sunday.
Condolence messages continue to pour in lauding his services, especially his role in preserving communal and social harmony at the most trying times like demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. Thangal passed away on Saturday night aged 73.
President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC President Sonia Gandhi sent their condolences while Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan called at his residence on Sunday morning to pay homage to the leader.
In her message, Patil said Thangal was a prominent social worker active in public life and the country has lost an
eminent figure in him.
A leader who always kept away from electoral politics, Thangal's always had the last word in the affairs of the IUML ever since he took over as the state president in 1975.
While he played a key role in keeping IUML the most influential political force in the state despite the advent of
several radical Muslim outfits, he also kept his party in the Congress camp even as many leaders broke ranks over the issue.
Thangal's call to his community to exercise restraint in the wake of Babri Masjid demolition was hailed by one and all.
The mortal remains of Thangal would be laid to rest by evening after prayers at the family mosque in Panakkad.