SRINAGAR: Chairman Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani on Sunday paid rich tributes to late Khwaja Sanaullah Bhat (founder of daily Aftab) and late Sufi Ghulam Mohammad (founder of daily Srinagar Times) on their death anniversaries, saying they were legends par excellence and their contribution to journalism, social, literary works and towards suppressed people is a shining part of Kashmir’s history.
Terming the late Khwaja Sanaullah Bhat as father of journalism (in Kashmir), Geelani in a statement said he had several chances to meet the Aftab editor at his residence.
Geelani said after his release from Jodhpur jail, he couldn’t meet Khwaja because of his busy schedule and on the sudden demise of his daughter; late Khawaja Sanaullah visited my residence. “It was our last meeting. Since then, we couldn’t get any chance to meet in person,” he said.
The Hurriyat chairman while hailing Bhat’s services towards society said, “His (Khwaja’s) style and political approach was unique and distinct and he was very sympathetic and friendly towards oppressed people in state.”
“Late Khawaja had a commanding knowledge of his profession and highlighted the plight of suppressed and subjugated nation in a unique and apt style,” he said.
Haling services rendered by late Sofi Ghulam Mohammad, Geelani said he was very affectionate and close to him and will be remembered for pleading the case of “suppressed nation”. “He (Sofi) played a great and impressive role in highlighting the sufferings of distressed people in state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Geelani expressed his deep grief over the demise of prominent journalist and politician, Om Saraf and extended his condolences with the grieved family.
“Since my stay in Mujahid Manzil, we were good friends,” Geelani said. “It was my routine to meet him whenever I visited Jammu. During election campaign in 1972, he remained always with me, leaving a good impact on society.”
“(The) last time when I was in Jammu, he invited me on a marriage ceremony but I couldn’t attend the occasion as it was resented from Hindu extremists and late Saraf regretted over the incident,” Geelani said.
“We share this grief,” said Geelani while extending his condolence and sympathy with the grieved family.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat in a statement strongly lashed out at forces for their “brute behaviour” and expressed deep grief and concern over the indiscriminate pellet firing and seriously injuring a 11th class student, Zahid Manzoor.
“It is beastly act,” said Hurriyat and strongly criticised “so-called” peace envoys. “While sermonising peace, they forget that it is occupied forces (who are) responsible for uncertain situations, unabated killings and disturbances in state,” Hurriyat said.
Slamming police, Hurriyat said “for mean and meagre material gains, they (police) surpass all limits and trample all basic and fundamental norms”.