GUWAHATI, May 11 - Former Speaker of Assam Legislative Assembly Sheikh Chand Mohammad passed away at the city’s Nemcare Hospital this morning. He was 88 and had been ailing for some time.
A veteran politician and social worker, Chand Mohammad was elected from the Barkhetri Assembly constituency as its first MLA. Later he went on to become Deputy Speaker and Speaker (twice) of Assam Assembly during 1978-85, earning accolades for his administrative acumen.
Born to a peasant’s family to Aladar Ali and Pulashree Bibi at Mukalmuwa on March 1, 1931, he was named Chand Mohammad due to his radiance as a newborn. After doing his schooling from Mukalmuwa and Nalbari, he pursued pre-university at B Borooah College and later graduated from Cotton College. He obtained his law degree and also served as general secretary and vice president of the Law College Students’ Union. Then he practised as an advocate at the Gauhati High Court.
An eloquent orator, Chand Mohammad was actively associated with many social initiatives. A widely travelled man, he visited 29 countries and also represented India at various international meets such as Commonwealth and other global parliamentary democracy events.
His last rites were performed at Islampur Kabarstan.
Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi condoled the death of Chand Mohammad and said that the veteran lawmaker worked resolutely for the enrichment of parliamentary democracy. “He was also a strong voice for all sections of the people of the State,” the Governor added.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal mourned the death the former Speaker and said it is an irreparable loss for the society. “He contributed immensely to the development of the State and welfare of all sections of society. As Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly he enhanced the dignity of the House and made it more responsive to the needs of the grassroots level people of the State. The present parliamentary democracy in the State owes a lot the contribution of Sheikh Chand Mohammad. He left behind a rich legacy which continues to be a source of inspiration for the younger breed of politicians,” Sonowal said.
Expressing his grief, Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said the nation has lost an honest and dedicated political leader. APCC president Ripun Bora, Opposition leader in the Assembly Debabrata Saikia, former AGP general secretary and former Deputy Speaker of the Assam Assembly Nurul Hussain and many others expressed their grief at his demise.
On behalf of the Chief Minister, Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and the Chief Minister’s media and legal advisors Hrishikesh Goswami and Santanu Bharali respectively laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains of Chand Mohammad and expressed their condolences to the bereaved family.