Sopur hospital yet to get name
‘Dr Farooq had promised to name it after Sofi Akbar’
UMER MAQBOOL DAR
Sopur, Jan 4: Two decades after the state government proposed to name the 200-bedded sub-district hospital Sopur after pro-resistance leader and close aide of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Sofi Muhammad Akbar, the hospital is yet to be named after the leader. It was in late ’80s that the then Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah announced in this apple town that the hospital would be named after the visionary leader as a mark of respect for him, residents said, adding that even the signboard outside the hospital, functioning for past two years now, carried the name of the late leader.
Sofi Muhammad Akbar was a pioneer of Plebiscite Front, but broke away ranks with Sheikh Abdullah after the Indira-Abdullah accord of 1975. He later formed Mahaz-e-Azadi to carry forward the struggle and breathed his last on December 14, 1987.
Even during the construction period all official communications and official handouts mentioned the name of the institution as Sofi Muhammad Akbar Hospital.
Things changed with the inauguration of OPD complex of the hospital in 2008 by the then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The name was dropped as the authorities feared embarrassment to the CM for inaugurating the hospital named after a pro-freedom leader. The move triggered widespread resentment in the town with residents and traders threatening to stage protests but the issue soon died down. The issue resurfaced in 2009 at district review meeting when minister for Rural Development, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Sagar, took strong notice of dropping the name of Sofi Muhammad Akbar.
After 2008 there is no mention of Sofi Akbar in hospital documents or records. Chief Medical Officer Varmul, Dr. Ghulam Jeelani Zargar, says, “There is no mention of Sofi Akbar in hospital documents and we have not received any order from the Government in this regard.”
Member of Legislative Assembly from Sopur, Muhammad Ashraf Ganai, told Greater Kashmir that Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah had a dream to pay tribute to his friend by naming the institution after him.
“The last coalition government dropped the name but we will restore it. I have taken up the matter with the Chief Minister,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Jan 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Jan 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Jan 2010 00:00:00 IST
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