Mumbai: Noted journalist, writer and activist Syed Feroze Ashraf (77) died after being hit by an autorickshaw outside his home in Jogeshwari on Friday night, a family member said. Ashraf was well-known for his column Pakistannama, which appeared in several noted Hindi and Urdu publications, and was a winner of the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Academy award for outstanding contribution to journalism. A former employee of the Indian Oil Corporation, Ashraf used to teach Press Law to students pursuing Urdu journalism from Mumbai University. Known as a progressive writer among peers, Ashraf’s columns enthralled readers for over three decades. Hailing from Bihar, he also taught Urdu to students for free.
Socio-political activist Sudheendra Kulkarni, who attended Ashraf’s funeral, termed his death an irreparable loss. “Feroze sir was a silent revolutionary who dedicated his life to two missions, firstly to unite Hindus and Muslims, and secondly helping poor students by teaching them for free,” Kulkarni said. Ashraf, who was buried in Malad graveyard, is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son. Police, meanwhile, said a probe and efforts were on to nab the autorickshaw driver.