Vijayan rejects criticism over cabinet ministers' absence at public homage of Justice Fatima Beevi

Vijayan rejects criticism over cabinet ministers' absence at public homage of Justice Fatima Beevi

Kozhikode (Ker), Nov 25 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday dismissed criticism from some quarters regarding him and his cabinet colleagues not paying homage to late Justice M Fathima Beevi, when the mortal remains were brought to her hometown of Pathanamthitta.

The Chief Minister said Justice Fatima Beevi, the first woman Supreme Court judge and former Tamil Nadu governor, was a person of high regard and importance that no one should or could show disrespect towards her.

As the Chief Minister and ministers were away in the northern districts as part of 'Nava Kerala Sadas' programme, Pathanamthitta district collector A Shibu had laid a floral wreath on her mortal remains on behalf of the government on Thursday.

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

Rejecting the criticism by the local Muslim Jamaath, he said, 'It was a fact that no one could participate amidst the (Nava Kerala Sadas) programme... No one disrespected her... She was such a great personality whom no one could disrespect.' Jamaath office bearers had expressed their displeasure over state ministers not coming to pay homage to Justice Beevi.

They also slammed the authorities for not declaring a holiday for local schools in the municipality limits.

Justice Beevi was laid to rest at the 'qabristan' of the town Juma Masjid in Pathanamthitta on Friday with full state honors.

Hundreds of people thronged the Pathanamthitta town hall where the body of the departed judge was placed for the public to pay their last respects.

The Additional District Magistrate (ADM) presented a floral wreath on behalf of Health Minister Veena George.

A wreath was laid on behalf of Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai as well.

Judicial officers, Assembly Deputy Speaker Chittayam Gopakumar, and MLAs K U Jenish Kumar and Pramod Narayanan were among those who visited Justice Beevi's residence and paid their respects.

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

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