Vijayan rejects criticism over absence of cabinet ministers at public tribute to Fatima Beevi

Kozhikode: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday rejected criticism from some quarters regarding him and his cabinet colleagues not paying homage to late Justice M Fathima Beevi when her mortal remains were brought to his hometown Pathanamthitta. .

The Chief Minister said Justice Fathima Beevi, the first woman judge of the Supreme Court and former Governor of Tamil Nadu, was a person of great respect and importance and no one should or can show disrespect to her.

As the Chief Minister and ministers were in the northern districts as part of the ‘Nav Kerala Sada’ programme, Pathanamthitta District Collector A Shibu had on Thursday paid floral tributes to his mortal remains on behalf of the government.

Vijayan told reporters that it was not possible for him and other ministers to pay homage to Biwi as they were away.

Rejecting criticism from the local Muslim Jamaat, he said, ‘It is true that no one could participate in the (Nav Kerala Sada) program… No one disrespected her… She was such a great personality. , whom no one could disrespect.’ Jamaat officials had expressed displeasure over state ministers not coming to pay tribute to Justice Biwi.

He also criticized the authorities for not declaring holiday in local schools in the municipality limits.

Justice Biwi was laid to rest with full state honors on Friday at the ‘graveyard’ of Juma Masjid in Pathanamthitta town.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Pathanamthitta Town Hall, where the body of the late judge was kept for the public to have a last look at.

Additional District Magistrate (ADM) offered floral tributes on behalf of Health Minister Veena George.

Floral tributes were also paid by Goa Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai.

Judicial officers, Assembly Deputy Speaker Chittayam Gopkumar, and MLAs KU Jenish Kumar and Pramod Narayanan were among those who visited Justice Beevi’s residence to pay homage to her.

Justice Beevi died at a private hospital in Kollam on Thursday at the age of 96.

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