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Mohammad Iqbal Khanday dies at 63 due to cancer

Former chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Mohammad Iqbal Khanday passed away here Monday after battling cancer. He was 63.

Khanday, a 1978-batch IAS officer, took premature retirement from service just a few months before his superannuation in 2015. He is survived by wife, judge Kaneez Fatima, and daughter Sehar Iqbal.

Khanday breathed his last at SKIMS Hospital at Soura, where he was undergoing treatment for cancer, which had relapsed after his retirement from service.

Khanday will be buried at a graveyard near his Humhama residence, relatives said. Known as an able administrator, Khanday was dogged by several controversies during his years of service -- the last one being his premature retirement due to differences with the PDP-BJP government over the transfer of few subordinate officers.

He was also an accused in the infamous 2006 Srinagar sex scandal and arrested by the CBI in connection with the case of sexual exploitation of women including an underage girl. However, he was acquitted by the trial court.

Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti condoled Khanday's death. "Sorry to hear about the demise of Iqbal Khanday Sb. He was Chief Secretary in J&K & worked with me when I had the privilege of heading the government. My heartfelt condolences to his family & loved ones (sic)," Omar wrote on Twitter.

Mehbooba, in a statement, said Khanday was a "simple person easy to get along with and totally dedicated to his job". She appreciated the significant contributions made by the officer in various state departments.

A condolence meeting was convened in the Civil Secretariat in Jammu. Advisor to Governor K Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, administrative secretaries and other senior officers attended the meet.

Kumar remembered Khanday for his administrative acumen and dynamism. "Our heart goes out to the family of Iqbal Khandey sahab, who in the later part of his life went through a personal tragedy of losing his son in a road accident," he said.

Sajid Iqbal, Khanday's son was killed in a road accident in 2011.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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