Businessman, Kashmir’s most known socialite, Abdul Hamid Guru is no more

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SRINAGAR: Hundreds of people on Saturday joined the funeral prayers of Abdul Hamid Guru, the promoter of a Gift Centre. He was one of the few influential persons whose social circle was huge and transcended ideological divide, people who know him said.

Guru was unwell and had been admitted to the SKIMS where he passed away late last night. He was brother in law of social activist Abdul Majid Zargar. He was living at Silver House, Rajbagh, where his funeral took place.

His friends and the vast social circle have paid rich tributes to the departed soul. “His shop was actually a discussion centre where everybody would go and sit,” one senior scribe said. “It started with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and then even Dr Farooq would go and spend time there. It is a fact that it was the only place where most of the Plebiscite Front leaders would meet, so easily.”

“That cosy, cramped corner of your shop was our version of London’s Hyde Park: anybody could walk in and join the non-stop free-wheeling discussion upon any topic under the sun,” prominent journalists Mohammad Sayeed Malik wrote on Facebook. “You played impartial umpire, keeping your own choice to yourself, even as decibel level shot up. You played host with equal magnanimity to one and all–from a politician in power to a dispossessed one, from vacuous academician to a boasting journalist, from a VIP to a virtual nobody.”

Guru has been a friend of Shamim Ahmadf Shamim and this bridge had led various others to become part of this informal discussion circuit.

“You were a man of ideas and you would make us wiser on issues,” one of his friends Abdul Wahid wrote on FB. “Your social base was solid and vast. Our group was woven into a family.”

Altaf Hussein, his friend wrote: “He was treasure of knowledge about happenings in Kashmir and would keenly observe the passing events.”

“Mr Abdul Hamid Guru a dear friend and a well groomed social personality passed away early this morning after a brief illness. For me a personal loss and his countless friends will miss him,” Minister Naeem Akhter wrote on his wall. “Deepest condolences to his family, especially his elder brother Kh. Ghulam Mohammad Gurur, Showkat Zargar, and all others. The baithaks at their family store oriental gift house will never again be the same.”

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