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At 63, Iqbal Khanday bids adieu to all

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Political parties, state administration, all mourn the sudden demise

Srinagar, Nov 19: Iqbal Khanday is no more. This one liner came as a shock to all who knew this bureaucrat with spine of steal, who despite several controversies, will always be remembered as one of the most upright, honest and well meaning bureaucrat of the state.

Mohammad Iqbal Khanday, former chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir passed away here Monday after battling cancer. He was just 63.

Khanday, a 1978-batch IAS officer, took premature retirement from service just few months before his superannuation in 2015. He is survived by wife, judge Kaneez Fatima, and daughter Sehar Iqbal.

Khanday breathed his last at SKIMS Hospital at Soura, where he was undergoing treatment for cancer, which had relapsed after his retirement from service.

Khanday was later laid to rest at a graveyard near his Humhama residence, relatives said.

A direct recruit IAS officer of 1978 batch, Iqbal Khanday was born on 15 November, 1955. He had the distinction of having served on various key and pivotal positions before being appointed as Chief Secretary in February, 2013.

The noteworthy positions held by the late officer during his illustrious, immaculate and unparalleled service career include DC Doda, Director School Education Kashmir, Secretary to Chief Minister, Director Tourism, Chairman SSB, Administrative Secretary of the Departments of Health, ARI, Home, Science & Technology, PW(R&B), Planning, Forest, Finance, Agriculture Production, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister and Director General, IMPA.

Meanwhile, a condolence meeting was convened in the Civil Secretariat Jammu today to mourn the demise of Khanday, an official press release informed.

It said Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, Administrative Secretaries and other senior officers attended the condolence meeting.

Advisor Kumar remembered Iqbal Khanday for his administrative acumen and dynamism. “Our heart goes out to the family members of Iqbal Khanday Sahab, who in the later part of his life went through a personal tragedy of losing his son to an unfortunate road accident,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary said that Iqbal Khanday has made an everlasting and indelible impression on the State administration.

“His prompt decision-making, decisiveness in resolution of issues, clinical commentary on the files and immaculate get-up have been the hallmark of his service career,” Chief Secretary observed.

“On my own behalf and on behalf of my colleagues, I express heartfelt condolences to the family. We pray for the departed soul and strength to the family to bear this irreparable loss,” Chief Secretary said in his condolence message.

With his demise, the State has lost an able and gifted administrator, thereby creating a void which would be difficult to fill. He would truly go as one of the ablest administrators in the history books of the State.

The meeting observed that Iqbal Khanday would be remembered for his prompt decision making and artistic abilities for evolving solutions to ticklish issues. He was full of compassion and belongingness for the people of the state in particular to those belonging to downtrodden communities.

On the occasion, two-minute silence was observed to pay respects to the departed soul and pray for his eternal peace.

The demise has been mourned widely.

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