Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, March 30, appreciated former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for requesting his supporters to follow the social distancing protocol advised by the Centre and not gather to offer their condolences to his uncle who passed away on Sunday.

Abdullah had taken to Twitter to share the unfortunate news with his supporters and urged them to offer their prayers from their respective homes. "My uncle Dr Mohd Ali Mattoo passed away earlier tonight after a brief illness," he wrote.

PM Narendra Modi

"At this difficult time the family appeals to everyone to respect the guidelines to not gather either at his residence or the graveyard. Your prayers from your homes will give peace to his soul," added Abdullah.

PM offered his condolences to Abdullah's late uncle

In his tweet to Abdullah, PM Modi condoled the demise of his uncle and wrote, "Condolences to you and the entire family, @OmarAbdullah. May his soul rest in peace."

"In this hour of grief, your call to avoid any large gathering is appreciable and will strengthen India's fight against COVID-19," added the Prime Minister.

Abdullah thanked PM for his thoughtfulness

Expressing his gratitude towards the PM, Abdullah replied, "My family joins me in thanking you very much for your message of condolence jenab. Your prayers for the departed soul are much appreciated."

Abdullah, who was put under house arrest on August 5 after the abrogation of J&K's special status, was released last week.

The National Conference leader was booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) and spent 232 days in detention. His father, Farooq Abdullah, was also released two weeks ago.

India under COVID-19 lockdown

To contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, India has been put under a 21-day lockdown in order to prevent people from coming out of their homes and get exposed to the fatal disease.

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

The number of COVID-19 cases is on a constant rise in the country and has now gone past the 1100 mark with Kerala and Maharashtra having 200 plus patients each. The death toll due to the China-originated virus has risen to 27.