March 4 (UPI) -- Former Indian Foreign Service member and Member of Parliament Syed Shahabuddin has died at age 82.
The former politician known as an influential figure for minority Indian Muslims died at a hospital in Noida on Saturday morning after facing prolonged illness.
"Shahabuddin, former President of All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat left for heavenly abode this morning at 6:22 a.m.," his associate and current president of the All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat Navaid Hamid said.
Shahabuddin was born in 1935 and joined the IFS in 1958. He retired to become a politician and later served as a Member of Parliament for three terms between 1979 and 1996.
He also served as the head of the Babri Action Committee, dedicated to preserving a 16th Century mosque in Ayodhya that served as a point of tension between Hindus and Muslims.
Shahabuddin played a significant role in having Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses banned from India.
Vice-President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari, who also served in the IFS, offered his condolences to the influential former politician.
"Syed Shahabuddin was a man of deep convictions, he pursued issues that were dear to him with great tenacity and determination," Ansari said. "I am deeply saddened to learn of the demise of renowned political leader, scholar, diplomat and former parliamentarian Shahabuddin."
Shahabuddin is survived by his wife and four daughters.