Former Jammu and Kashmir minister and PDP leader Sofi Ghulam Mohiuddin died at his ancestral home in Handwara area of Kupwara district on Tuesday morning. He was 67. Sofi breathed his last at 5.00 am on Tuesday after a prolonged illness, a PDP spokesman said. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. Sofi was associated with Peoples Conference headed by Abdul Gani Lone for a long time and was member of the supreme council of the party when it was part of undivided Hurriyat Conference.
His decision to contest the assembly elections as an independent from Handwara in 2002 was one of the main reasons for the vertical split in Hurriyat as hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani accused Peoples Conference of fielding proxy candidates in violation of the constitution of the separatist amalgam.
After winning the assembly elections, Sofi became part of a loose coalition of 13 independent MLAs, who formed the now-defunct Peoples Democratic Forum, to join the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-Congress government in the state.
He was the minister for forests and environment.
Sofi joined the PDP in 2008 but could not win any election after that.
PDP vice president Mohammad Sartaj Madni expressed grief over Sofi’s demise.
In a condolence massage, Madni said Sofi was a dedicated socio-political figure who had done a lot for needy and deserving people in the state in general and hilly district of Kupwara in particular.