When Nasir Wani and Salman Sagar abandoned ‘Saal’ to escape mob fury

Srinagar: In keeping with the prevailing public-sentiment in the Valley, National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s close aide, Tanvir Sadiq on Thursday tied a nuptial knot with austerity at his Hassanabad residence here.
Sadiq, who earlier this year got engaged to Naznin Aijaz, a post-graduate girl from Zadibal locality, was scheduled to host a mega marriage function, where around 4000 guests, including, Who’s Who from within the state and outside were scheduled to be invited. 
The wedding reception, as per his close friend and prominent businessman Sameer Azad, was planned to last for around a week, while hotel rooms were booked for guests being invited from outside.
But given the prevalent unrest, which has claimed over 50 lives and left over 5000 wounded in the wake of killing of militant commander Burhan Muzafar Wani on July 8, there came a twist in the plans. 
Sources said Sadiq was advised by his well-wishers that he should get the marriage postponed as celebrations couldn’t be held in accordance with their extravagant plans as Kashmir continued to simmer.
Sadiq, however, stood firm on his stand to go ahead with the wedding but without any pomp and show and a word was passed on to the bride’s family not to host anything beyond traditional Kehwa for the groom.
On Thursday afternoon, the Nikah was performed with simplicity, where family and some close friends were served traditional Kashmiri sweet beverage and dates. A similar, low-key function took place at bridegroom’s place.
Sources said some of Sadiq’s party colleagues, including NC Provincial President, Nasir Aslam  Wani, spokesman Junaid Mattu and youth wing President Salman Ali Sagar had planned to give the groom a surprise by making it to Nikah ceremony.
It was reliably learnt that in a bid to avoid any mob fury, Nasir left his south City home in a small private vehicle, without any escort, with a cap resting on his head to hide his identity. But near Abdullah Bridge a large procession coming from the opposite direction prompted him to take a U-turn.
Salman Ali Sagar, on the other hand, well-versed with the topography of old City lanes and bylanes, tried interior road links to make it to Hassanabad. But he had to abort the mission midway right in his father and senior NC leader Ali Muhammad Sagar’s Khanyar stronghold, where massive protests were on against arrest of local youth.
Insiders said Salman finally took a “safe route” to rush back to his residence. Learning about the fate of his two senior colleagues, Junaid Mattu preferred to stay back home.
However, Sadiq’s childhood friend, who is a senior official, made it to the Nikah Khawani, despite all fury on the roads. This guest, who rode a bike with his face hidden in safety helmet. He removed the helmet only after entering the room where the wedding was being solemnized. 
For this official, who has been a public figure, bike helmet helped him to conceal his identity from protesters who confronted him at multiple places. 
But then why solemnizing marriage in such a tricky situation when he had a different plan in store? “Nikah is Sunnah so there was no reason for postponement…  But given the humanitarian crises, there was no scope of any celebrations; It’s Karbala in every home in Kashmir,” Sadiq told Kashmir Observer.

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