Hyderabad: Syed Viqaruddin, Editor –In-Chief of Rahnuma-E-Deccan Urdu Daily, about 80 years of age, was laid to rest at a cemetery in the Old City this afternoon.
He passed away late last night at a private hospital after prolonged illness.
Adnan Abul Haija, Ambassador of Palestinian who had flown down for the funeral draped the body of the deceased with Palestinian national. “He was like our own brother. We all respect him. That is why we wanted to honour his soul as well as our own cause by draping him in our national flag,” the ambassador said later. He accompanied the body to the graveyard and was there until the last rites were over.
Earlier, Viqaruddin was awarded the “Star of Jerusalem,” the highest Palestinian civil award. He was the first and only Indian to receive that award.
He was also the recipient of He was also awarded the highest civilian award “Sahibul Jllallah” by Morocco King Mohammed IV.
Mahmood Ali, Minister in the cabinet of TRS, visited the house of the deceased and stayed there for some time. Until the writing of this report there was no official condolence from Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Rahnuma-E-Deccan which is published from Hyderabad has a long history. It was published as Rahbar-E-Deccan before the Independence of India. The Rahbar had to be closed down owing to objections raised by the Indian Union after the merger of Hyderabad State. Earlier the newspaper had fervently supported the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan and his rule.
In 1967 Vicaruddin’s father Syed Yousufuddin had bought the newspaper from a relative. From there on the two brothers—Syed Lateefuddin and Syed Vicaruddin played an active role in making the daily a popular one. At one time it was the largest circulated Urdu daily in Hyderabad.
Vicaruddin was also the Chairman of Indo-Arab League Hyderabad, an UN recognised NGO that worked assiduously for the cause of Palestine. He had invited many leading members of the Arab World, including Yasser Arafat, to Hyderabad to attend public meetings.
An Aligarian, he was a popular figure in the Arab World. His brother Lateefuddin played a key role in uniting different Muslim groups in Hyderabad and maintained good relations with the Congress Party, especially late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He had passed away in 1985.
Vicaruddin never married. He is survived by two sisters– Sarwar Begum and Fazal Begum. The younger sister who lives in Canada had flown in a few days ago. His oldest sister Ruqayya Begum who was the wife of Akbar Ali Khan had passed away long time ago.
His last prayers were offered at Makkah Masjid near Charminar at around 1-30pm. He was laid to rest at the Ihata Hazrat Musa Quadri, near Puranapul.