Kerala: Muslim League President Haider Ali Shihab Thangal dies

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Kerala Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) President, Panakkad Sayyid Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal (74) passed away at a private hospital in Ernakulam district’s Angamaly on Sunday.

His funeral will be held at Panakkad in Malappuram district on Monday morning.

He was the State IUML President for the past 12 years and succeeded his elder brother Panakkad Mohammed Ali Shihab Thangal.

One of the soft-spoken leaders of the Muslim League, he has always played a major role in mediating between the rivalries within the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF), of which the Muslim League, Congress, Kerala Congress and Revolutionary Socialist Party are a part of.

More than a political leader, Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal is considered as a spiritual leader of the Muslim community and was the State President of the Samastha Kerala Jamaithul Ulema, a powerful spiritual body of the Muslim community in Kerala.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President, K. Sudhakaran said as a mark of respect to the late Muslim League leader, the Congress has cancelled all the official programmes of the party. He added that former Congress President Rahul Gandhi will attend the funeral.

Goa Governor, P.S. Sredharan Pillai, while speaking to IANS condoled the death of Panakkad Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal, said, “He was a person with high integrity and secular credentials. He was one whose life was always for maintaining the secular credentials of the state and his strength was the down to earth attitude. Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal will always be remembered as a great spiritual and social leader more than a political leader.”

K. Sudhakaran told IANS, “The passing away of Thangal is a personal loss to me. He was one of the most secular leaders of the state who stood for upkeeping the secular credentials of Kerala and was the harbinger of peace. He and his late elder brother Panakkad Mohammed Ali Shihab Thangal were instrumental in maintaining peace in Kerala even after the destruction of Babri Masjid.”

All India Congress Committee General Secretary (Organisation), K.C. Venugopal condoled the death of Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal.

Speaking to IANS over telephone from New Delhi, he said, “Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal will always be remembered for his secular and democratic credentials. Has always been a soft-spoken force for the Kerala UDF and one of the most prominent leaders of the Muslim League in Kerala and nationally. He was personally very close to me and I have always been in touch with him.”

Congress leader and Kerala Leader of Opposition, V.D. Satheesan told media, “The passing of Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal is a major loss for the UDF. More than a spiritual and political leader he was a social worker who was always keen on opening more and more charitable institutions, including dialysis centres, cancer treatment centres and many charitable activities.”

“Panakkad family has worked for maintaining the secular credentials of Kerala and his elder brother late Panakkad Mohammed Ali Shihab Thangal was instrumental in preventing any communal violence in Kerala after the Babri Masjid destruction. Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal always believed in living according to the rules and regulations of the land and has been a churning force for the Muslim community in Kerala.”

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