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« on: Aug 03, 2009 05:57 AM »


Muslim League Veteran Mohammed Ali Thangal Dead
T.K. Devasia
khaleejtimes.com

2 August 2009 TRIVANDRUM - Highly venerated Muslim spiritual leader and president of the Kerala unit of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) Panakkad Syed Mohammed Ali Shihab Thangal passed away on Saturday.

He was 73 and is survived by his wife and five children. Thangal, who had a fall in his house at Panakkad on Friday, breathed his last at a private hospital at Malappuram at 8.45 pm, according to IUML leader and former minister Dr M.K. Muneer.

His funeral will be held at 3 pm on Sunday. Munner said Thangal, who was suffering from diabetics and related complications, was cheerful when he had met him at the hospital on 
Friday night.

Born on May 4, 1936, Thangal was the last word in the Muslim League ever since he assumed the charge of the party following the death of his father, Panakkad Syed Ahmed Pookoya Thangal in 1975.

He was also highly respected by the rival parties. The party’s allies in the Congress-led United Democratic Front had always sought his advice and guidance whenever the coalition faced any crisis. However, he had always kept away from positions in the government.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony described Thangal as the prophet of peace. He said that he was one of the rare leaders who had strived hard for promoting secularism and communal harmony.

Leader of opposition in the State Assembly Oommen Chandy said that Kerala had not witnessed any communal trouble in the wake of the demolition 
of the Babri Mosque due to his 
timely intervention.

“He was a leader and guide for all of us. His death is an irreparable loss not only to the Muslim League but also the entire Kerala”, Chandy said. Veteran Congress leader K. Karunakaran said that he was a binding force in 
Kerala politics. Recalling the role he played in promoting communal harmony, senior BJP leader and former federal minister O. Rajagopal said that his death was a big blow to Kerala.

Thangal had a huge following in Kerala as a spiritual leader. People from not only Muslim community but also other communities used to throng his house to seek his blessings and guidance.

Thangal had received religious education for five years after his 10th grade in school. Later on the recommendations of a visiting Egyptian cultural team, he went to Egypt for higher studies. After studying at Al Azhar University for 2 years, he joined Cairo University and studied for 5 years.

Thousands Pay Tribute
to Panakkad Thangal

3 August 2009 TRIVANDRUM - Thousands of people cutting across political and religious lines bid a tearful adieu to spiritual leader and leader of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Panakkad Syed Muhammed Ali Shihab Thangal, at a state funeral at Panakkad in Malappuram district on Sunday.

Thangal, 73, died on Saturday night following a cardiac arrest.

Thangal, who led the IUML for 34 years, was buried close to the resting places of his father, PMSA Pookoya Thangal and wife Sherifa Fathima Beevi, at the Panakkad Juma Masjid.

A huge crowd of people converged at Malappuram Town Hall when the body was brought there from his ancestral Kudappanackkal home early in the morning for the public to pay homage to the leader.  Senior leaders of the party and the police had a tough time in controlling the people, who surged at the make-shift barricades, to have a last glimpse of the leader. Chief Minister V S Achutanandan, his cabinet colleagues, opposition leader Oommen Chandy, Federal Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, and leaders from almost all political parties, MPs, MLAs, and religious, social and cultural leaders paid homage to Thangal.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad participated in the funeral. Union Minister of State for Railways and IUML all-India president E Ahmed, Kerala Speaker K Radhakrishnan, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Revenue Minister K P Rajendran, and Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran were among those who attended the funeral. Besides the opposition leader, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala, and Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani were among other leaders present at the funeral. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and several other national leaders have condoled his 
death.


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