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Head priest of Dargah Hazratbal shrine passes away

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Death condoled widely

Srinagar, Jun 23: Head priest of Dargah Hazratbal shrine, Ghulam Hassan Banday, died Sunday after a brief illness. He was 80.

Banday was one of the custodians of the holy relic of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) at the Hazratbal shrine, an official spokesman said.

Banday displayed holy relic on many important occasions at the shrine and was also part of the group involved in the recitation of special supplications on important occasions that include Eid-e-Milad-un Nabi.

His funeral prayers were held in evening, the spokesman said.

Banday's death has been condoled by various religious and social organisations.

Advisor to the Governor and Chairman, J&K Wakf Board, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, in his condolence message, paid rich tributes to the deceased and expressed heart-felt sympathies with the bereaved family and prayed for ‘Jannat-ul-Firdous’ to the department soul, an official spokesman said.

Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti also expressed grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Banday.

In her condolence message, Mehbooba hailed dedication with which Late Ghulam Hassan Banday served the Hazratbal shrine while carrying forward the legacy of his forefathers. She termed him a pious and noble soul.

"We mourn the sad demise of one of the most notable religious scholars of Kashmir who earnestly served one of the sacred places of the state. As I express my sincere condolences to his family, I express my full confidence that Banday’s children will carry forward his great legacy,” Mehbooba said.

National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah also expressed grief over the demise of Banday.

The duo in their message said that the deceased was a pious person and that his earnest services to the shrine will be remembered for all the times to come.

The father-son duo prayed for peace to the soul of the deceased and strength to the grief-stricken family to bear the inconsolable loss.

NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, additional general secretary Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Nasir Aslam Wani, Mubarak Gul, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Tanvir Sadiq, Muhammad Syed Akhoon, Salman Ali Sagar, Imran Nabi Dar have also condoled the demise of Ghulam Hassan Banday.

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