People’s President Abdul Kalam laid to rest with full state honours in Rameswaram
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam laid to rest (Photo: Twitter)
Rameswaram (TN):Thousands poured into Rameswaram, some walked miles, to pay their last respects to former President Dr Abdul Kalam as he was laid to rest a little before noon at the Pei Karumbu ground in his hometown.
The funeral procession travelled from his ancestral home to the local mosque before reaching the public ground. The People’s President was accorded full state honour before he was laid to rest.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and a host of other dignitaries, including chief ministers of some states, wre present during the last rites held around 11 am after the ‘Namaz-e-Janaza’.
Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day and Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm as a mark of respect to the former President.
The body of 83-year-old Kalam, who passed in Shillong on Monday, was taken from the house around 9.30 am to the mosque by officers of the three services with the casket covered with the traditional green shawl.
At the mosque, the Aalin or the chief priest read out special prayers and spoke about the former President, who grew up from in this island.
Later, it was taken to the place of burial where prayers were be offered again.
The body of the “Missile Man” was brought to his house on the narrow Pallivasal Street around 10 pm last night and left in the privacy of his family till this morning.
Thousands of mourners kept pouring through the night by various transport including buses, trains and boats to attend the last rites and many of them even slept on the roads last night.
Shops, business establishments and hotels remained shut in the town and throughout Tamil Nadu as a mark of respect to the late leader fondly called the “People’s President”.
Police said tight security arrangements have been made in and around the town and Navy, Coast Guard and marine police personnel deployed in the sea.
Tamil Nadu Government has declared a public holiday today as a mark of respect to Kalam.
Several people were seen holding the national tri-colour as they waited in the jam-packed streets around Kalam’s house to have a last glimpse of their hero. Many were perched on the terraces of buildings.
The burial will be at Peikarumbu here where about 1.5 acre had been allocated for the purpose.
Slogans of “Bharat Mata ki jai” rent the air as the body was taken in flower-bedecked carriage to the burial site, about 3.5 km from the mosque, accompanied by the personnel of three services.
Kalam’s family members, including his eldest sister 99-year-old Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraicker accompanied the body.