KASHMIR’S UNSUNG HEROES: Muhammad Ismail Sagar – II

An acute political analyst, Muhammad Ismail Sagar viewed the Congress–Sheikh nexus with foreboding, and voiced his concern time and again. Finally, when the National Conference came into existence in 1939, he withdrew from political activity for some time, but came into the limelight again when the Muslim Conference was revived.

For some unknown reasons, he was taken into custody once more on October 25, 1947 when the annual session of the Muslim Conference was underway in Srinagar.

Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas, Agha Shaukat Ali, Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah and Allah Rakha Sagar, who addressed the session on its first day (October 25), were arrested from the city’s Hotel Majestic, while Muhammad Ismail was picked up from his home, and held in custody for some time. He had not attended the session for some personal reasons.

Sagar and other Muslim Conference members were thrilled when the Kashmir issue went to the United Nations. The party set up a Plebiscite Board, with him as its secretary.

For quite some time, he also edited a newspaper – the Rahbar.

The arrival of Indian troops in the Valley had an adverse impact on his health, and he remained mostly confined to bed.

Muhammad Ismail Sagar passed away in 1990 at his Magarmal Bagh residence, and was laid to rest in the local cemetery.

The epitaph on his grave, bearing a brief profile, was sent from Pakistan.

He is survived by his widow and two sons, Mushtaq and Mahmood, both of whom carry the Sagar name, and have been imprisoned a number of times for their political stand and vital role in Kashmir’s struggle.