Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) State president and Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama (SKJU) vice-president Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, 74, was interred at Panakkad Juma Masjid graveyard with State honours in the early hours on March 7.
The burial took place early as doctors had warned against keeping the body for long hours. Thousands of people had thronged at the Municipal Town Hall, Malappuram, where the body was kept on Sunday evening for the public to pay homage.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan paid his last respects to Thangal by laying a wreath on the body around 10 p.m. on Sunday. Assembly Speaker M.B. Rajesh, Minister for Sports V. Abdurahiman, Minister for Agriculture P. Prasad, and former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran, were among those who paid their respects on Sunday night. BJP leader K.K. Surendran laid a wreath on behalf of Goa Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.
IUML leader and former Minister for Education P.K. Abdu Rabb collapsed while paying homage to Thangal. He was shifted to hospital. His family sources said that his condition was stable. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, MP, was to arrive on Monday morning to pay his homage to Thangal. The funeral was scheduled for Monday morning. However, Mr. Gandhi cancelled his visit and Thangal’s family decided to do prepone the funeral. Congress sources said Mr. Gandhi would visit Panakkad later.
The body was shifted to Panakkad Juma Masjid after midnight where the final round of prayers took place under the leadership of Thangal’s younger brother Syed Sadikali Shihab Thangal. Several scholars and senior leaders of the SKJU attended the last round of the Janaza prayer.
Police offered the State honour to Thangal before he was laid to rest beside his elder brother Syed Mohammedali Shihab Thangal around 2.30 a.m. A large crowd witnessed the last rites of Thangal at Panakkad Juma Masjid.
The rush of people to Thangal’s house at Panakkad continued on Monday morning. Several religious and political leaders visited Panakkad in the morning. Among them were former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Kerala Congress (M) chairman Jose K. Mani, Shafi Parambil, MLA and Congress leader Aryadan Shoukath.
Thangal died on Sunday afternoon at Little Flower Hospital and Research Centre, Angamaly, after a prolonged fight against lymphatic cancer. After the primary funeral rites and initial rounds of prayers at Angamaly Juma Masjid, the body was brought to Panakkad in the evening and then shifted to Municipal Town Hall at Malappuram, where thousands paid him respects.
The rush of people continued into midnight. Many who stood in queues until midnight were disappointed as Thangal’s family decided to hurry through the last rites. The flow of people to Thangal’s grave continued on Monday. Alone and in groups, many were seen reciting Quran and offering prayers at the grave.